Update: These strikes have now been cancelled.
Heathrow Airport is set to be hit by strikes from its employees — including some 2,000 security officers — over June, July and August.
The Unite union announced the strike action, which will affect the airport's Terminal 3 (home to operators including Virgin, Emirates, Qatar, United, American and Delta) as well as Terminal 5 (BA and Iberia Express).
Dates for the planned strikes — many of which coincide with summer holidays — are:
- 24, 25, 28, 29 and 30 June
- 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31 July
- 4, 5, 6 , 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, and 27 August
The dispute is over pay. Unite claims that Heathrow security officers are paid less than workers at other major airports in London and the south east. The union's general secretary Sharon Graham said: "HAL [Heathrow Airport Limited] has got its priorities all wrong. This is an incredibly wealthy company, which this summer is anticipating bumper profits and an executive pay bonanza. It’s also expected to pay out huge dividends to shareholders, yet its workers can barely make ends meet and are paid far less than workers at other airports."
A Heathrow spokesperson has said that passengers 'can rest assured' that they will do everything to minimise strike disruption: "Unite has already tried and failed to disrupt the airport with unnecessary strikes on some of our busiest days and we continue to build our plans to protect journeys during any future action.
"The simple fact remains that the majority of colleagues do not support Unite's strikes. There is a two-year inflation-beating pay rise ready for colleagues, if only Unite would allow them to have a say.
"We will continue talks with Unite about resolving this issue."