‘CALL the airport out!’ striking worker Carlos Rodriguez said at the rally outside the union Unite’s headquarters on the outskirts of Heathrow Airport yesterday.
4,000 Unite members employed by Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) voted by an 85% majority to strike against 25% pay cuts amounting to £8,000 a year.
Yesterday was the first of four strike days called by the union in December.
Rodriguez continued: ‘We have to fight this and win it. The whole airport must come out. We are all facing the same problem.’
Striker S Singh said: ‘Unite need to be calling all of its members out, all Unite members at Heathrow Airport, they should all be here.
‘That is the only way to make it clear that we all stand together.
‘We need to be united and strong and then we will win.’
Amerdip Dhillon, Unite striker said: ‘It has affected other industries. Every employer all around the country is using Covid as an excuse to cut pay, conditions and jobs, but here at Heathrow Airport it is massive.
‘Thousands of workers have already been sacked and the rest have had their pay and conditions slashed. It is obvious … call the airport out!’
There was a 30-strong two hours-long rally outside Unite House in Harlington yesterday.
Pete Kavanagh, Unite London and Eastern Regional Secretary said of the one day strike action: ‘Taking strike action is never easy at the best of times. It is done when all else fails.
‘We are not listened to by employers It is nothing short of courageous of you.
‘It is a brave stand you are making. It is easier to keep your head down.
‘We are going to make a stand for families and community. Your sector is hit the hardest.
‘We know that this is a temporary situation. Your leaders put forward a series of proposals.
‘I am not talking about infrastructure, the workforce is HAL’s most precious asset.
‘The workforce poured money into the airport, into HAL and made dividends for the shareholders.
‘We want decent conditions and wages, which puts much needed money into the community.
‘Mr Holland K you are not HAL … without the workforce he is nothing … An £8,000 pay cut is nothing for him. £8,000 less for us will harm our families. It causes real concern, depression and ill health which is why we are fighting back.
‘This is a tremendous show of solidarity and that the workers make the business work and make the profits. Onwards and upwards comrades.’