Heathrow Airport festive disruption warning as Unite union moves to pay row ballot

Heathrow Airport has been warned it faces a possible strike in the run-up to Christmas in a dispute over holiday pay.

Members of the Unite union - including firefighters, security staff and engineers - will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

Unite said its 4,000 members had overwhelmingly rejected an offer the union said would leave workers out of pocket.

Unite official Wayne King said: "Instead of 'making every journey better', Heathrow is 'making every worker poorer' in its bullying bid to cheat staff out of their full holiday pay and cuts to long-standing terms and conditions.

"We are deeply disappointed that, despite many months of trying to settle this dispute, including at the conciliation service, Acas, Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) has flatly rejected several of the union's reasonable proposals.

"This has left us with no option but to proceed to a full industrial action ballot now.

"With over 94% voting to reject, our members have sent a very clear message that they will not be bullied into accepting a shoddy offer that leaves them out of pocket.

"We would urge HAL to get back around the table to reach a genuinely negotiated settlement on all of the issues. Otherwise, major disruption is on the cards during the hectic Christmas period."

A Heathrow spokesman said: "Every day, Heathrow colleagues focus on making sure our passengers have a great journey through the airport.

"We are proud that their hard work has transformed Heathrow into the best airport in Europe.

"As a responsible employer, we are continuing discussions with Unite on how we can build on that success while delivering even better value and experience for our passengers.

"We are disappointed to hear that Unite is balloting their members who work at Heathrow for industrial action.

"We are hopeful that Heathrow colleagues will vote 'no' and that we will find a solution that works for everyone.

"However, should industrial action take place, we have robust contingency plans in place which will ensure the airport continues to operate safely and minimise disruption to the airport's operation."


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