Strikes will grind Heathrow to a halt

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Unite has called strike action at Heathrow Airport Ltd following an 85% strike vote. Picture shows BA Unite members voting unanimously to strike against the airline’s ‘fire and rehire’ pay and conditions cuts programme on August 20th, but the union leadership refused to call the strike

WORKERS at Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) are launching three 24-hour strikes over plans to fire and rehire its 4,000 workers on vastly reduced pay – action which will grind the entire airport to a halt.

The strike action by members of the union Unite, will involve firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, operational and airside workers, and will effectively close the airport. The workforce at HAL recorded an 85 per cent vote in favour of industrial action.

The first 24 hour strike will take place on Tuesday 1st December, with a further one day stoppage on Monday 14 December. A 48-hour stoppage will take place on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 December.

Unite regional coordinating officer Wayne King said: ‘Workers are taking strike action as a direct result of Heathrow Airport’s brutal proposals to fire and rehire them on greatly reduced wages.

‘The airport is using the Covid-19 pandemic as a smokescreen to permanently cut workers’ pay.

‘Unite has put forward several alternative suggestions to reduce staffing costs on a temporary basis, all of which have been summarily rejected by management.

‘The way that workers, who are already suffering extreme levels of stress and anxiety, are being treated by HAL’s management, demonstrates that they have apparently learned all their skills of tact and diplomacy from Donald Trump.

‘These decisions will turn Heathrow from one of the most successful airports in the world into a workplace run on bullying and intimidation, it’s disgraceful.

‘In the midst of a global pandemic no key worker should be forced to take such deep pay cuts by an employer that claims to have billions in reserves.

‘This strike action will undoubtedly cause a great deal of disruption to passengers and cargo deliveries using the airport but this is purely a result of the company’s appalling treatment of workers.’