London Heathrow Airport workers strike over pay

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Workers employed by Dnata and Menzies at London Heathrow Airport will take three days of strike action, beginning November 18, 2022, in a dispute over pay.

The strike action involves 700 workers employed by Dnata and Menzies. The workforce carries out a wide variety of roles, including ground-handling, airside transport and cargo. The strike action will begin in the early hours of November 18 and will be completed in the early hours of November 21. It will lead to disruption, cancellations and delays at terminals 2, 3 and 4. The strike action is expected to particularly affect Qatar Airways, which has scheduled an additional 10 flights a week during the World Cup. Other airlines that will be hit heavily by the strike action include Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Cathay-Pacific and Emirates. Passengers returning to the US for the Thanksgiving holiday are also set to be adversely affected.

According to the Unite union, both Dnata and Menzies have only been prepared to offer pay cuts disguised as pay increases. Dnata has offered its workers a 5% increase, while the offers for Menzies workers vary between 2-6%. All the offers are far below the real rate of inflation, which currently stands at 12.6%.

Kevin Hall, regional officer at Unite, said, “Strike action will inevitably cause disruption, delays and cancellations to flights throughout Heathrow, with travelers to the World Cup particularly affected. However, this dispute is entirely of Dnata and Menzies’ own making. They have had every opportunity to make a fair pay offer but have chosen not to do so.”

Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, said, “Our members at Dnata and Menzies undertake highly challenging roles and are simply seeking a decent pay rise. Both companies are highly profitable and can fully afford to make a fair pay increase. The owners and directors are simply lining their own pockets rather than paying their workers fairly. The workers at Heathrow will have Unite’s complete support during this dispute.”

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