Today marks the fourth day of strike action at Heathrow Airport, after Unite members recorded an 84 per cent vote in favour of industrial action over Heathrow Airport Limited’s decision to fire and rehire its 4,000 employees on vastly inferior contracts.
Unite members are facing permanent pay cuts up to 25 per cent of their pay, or £8,000 per annum. Meanwhile, bosses sit on piles of cash, with CEO John Holland-Kaye boasting in October of enough reserves to survive for the next 15 months, even if there are no passengers at the airport.
Unite is particularly concerned about the deployment of inexperienced third-party contingency workers in safety-critical roles, including security and engineering, during this strike. Despite this reckless behaviour, management refuse to enter into any meaningful consultation with the union to address these concerns, as required by law.
This week, Unite have taken targeted strike action involving firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, central terminal operations and landside and airside operations.
On Monday 14 December, striking workers staged a huge car-based rally. Speakers at the protest included several local MPs, local councillors, and representatives of the striking workers.
At 8am this morning, striking workers were joined by MPs and Unite the union officials on a virtual picket, held via Zoom.
Grahame Morris MP, Chair of the Unite the Union Parliamentary Group, said “The attempt by Heathrow Airport Limited to fire and rehire this loyal workforce under vastly inferior contracts and devastating pay cuts is disgraceful. I would like to express my unwavering solidarity with the striking workers.”