Heathrow Airport workers to strike for seven days in May

A plane at Heathrow Airport (PA Archive)
A plane at Heathrow Airport (PA Archive)

Heathrow Airport passengers could be hit with major disruption as nearly 800 workers go on strike in a row over outsourcing.

The Unite union said hundreds of its members in passenger services, trolley operations and campus security would walk-out from May 7 to May 13 over the dispute.

It coincides with rolling train strikes planned by the drivers’ union Aslef, which are due to take place from May 7 to May 9, further causing travel chaos.

Unite said its latest action was in protest at plans by Heathrow to outsource three groups of workers by June 1.

It said it feared the outsourcing was a cost-cutting measure, which would undermine workers’ conditions.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Heathrow Airport’s actions are deplorable, it is raking in massive profits for the bosses while trying to squeeze every last penny out of its workforce.

“Unite is fully focussed on defending its members jobs, pay and conditions and our members at Heathrow will receive the union’s unrelenting support during this dispute.”

It comes on top of  a strike of Unite members at AFS Ltd, an airline refuelling company, on May 4, 5 and 6.

A Heathrow spokesperson said the planned strike was unnecessary and that no job losses would occur as a result of the outsourcing.

“We are reorganising our operations to deliver better results for our customers,” the spokesperson said.

“There are no job losses as a result of these changes, and we continue to discuss with Unite the implementation of these changes for the small number of colleagues impacted.

“Unite’s threats of potential industrial action are unnecessary, and customers can be reassured that we will keep the airport operating smoothly just like we have in the past.”

During Aslef’s train strike which coincides on May 7, its members will walk out at c2c, Greater Anglia, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern, and Gatwick Express.

South Western Railway main line and depot drivers will also walk out, as will drivers on the SWR Island Line.