Around 1,400 security officers employed at Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) are set to take a further eight days of strike action in a dispute over pay.
Unite, the UK’s leading union, announced that the workers will now take industrial action on 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 May, followed by another three days on 25, 26, and 27 May. The previous 10-day strike action over Easter caused considerable disruption at the airport, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham accused John Holland-Kaye, the CEO of HAL, of denying workers a decent pay rise while boosting his earnings by 88% to £1.5 million. Graham stated, “Yet again, we have a chief executive in John Holland-Kaye who thinks it is acceptable to boost his earnings by an eye-watering 88 per cent, from £800,000 to a staggering £1.5 million, while he denies his own workers a decent pay rise.”
Earlier this month, Unite warned that the endemic low pay was likely to create an exodus of security staff from the airport. Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said, “Strikes next month will cause further disruption to airport passengers, but this dispute is a direct result of Heathrow’s stubborn refusal to make an offer that meets our members’ expectations.
“Our members have been crystal clear they are seeking a substantial permanent increase in pay. A small one-off lump sum payment will not alleviate the financial pressures our members are facing on a daily basis.”
King added, “While the CEO can enjoy a lavish millionaire’s lifestyle, our members struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table. This is about need not greed.”
Heathrow Airport has not yet commented on the upcoming strike action.