Heathrow strike called off this weekend – but August walkout threat remains

Unite union warns that four days for industrial action in August remain on the table

 

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 24 July 2019 13:05
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HEATHROW STRIKE CALLED OFF THIS WEEKEND – BUT AUGUST WALKOUT THREAT REMAINS

A strike aimed at shutting down Europe’s busiest airport on one of its busiest weekends has been called off – but the threat of industrial action in August remains.

Unite had called a strike of 4,000 workers at Heathrow including security staff, engineers and drivers for Friday 26 July and Saturday 27 July, but the walkout has been suspended while the workforce votes on a new pay offer.

The union said it would not be revealing the details of the offer until its members involved in the pay dispute have had an opportunity to consider and vote on the new package.

But Unite said that the strikes already announced for Monday 5 August and Tuesday 6 August, and Friday 23 August and Saturday 24 August remain on the table until the result of the ballot is known.

The union said: “Unite won’t be commenting further until the ballot result is declared.”

When the strike was called, the Unite union warned: “Summer travel chaos at Heathrow airport is looming large…in a move that could potentially shut down the airport.”

The airport had promised “contingency plans that will ensure the airport remains open and operating safely”.

Pilots at Heathrow’s biggest airline, British Airways, have voted overwhelmingly to strike. The Independent has been told that the earliest any stoppage could begin is 13 August.

UK-based pilots at Ryanair began voting today on possible industrial action.

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