Strike by Heathrow workers suspended to allow more talks

A strike by Heathrow workers has been suspended Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

A planned strike by Heathrow Airport workers on Monday has been suspended to allow further talks on resolving a pay dispute.

Members of the Unite union were due to walk out from one minute past midnight for 48 hours.

The two sides have been meeting throughout the weekend under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas.

Unite said in a brief statement: “Tomorrow’s strike by Unite members working for Heathrow Airport has been suspended to allow for further talks at Acas tomorrow.

“Under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas, tomorrow’s talks will involve senior directors from Heathrow Airport and senior Unite officials with the aim of averting a second day of planned strike action set to start at 00:01 and finish at 23:59 on Tuesday 6 August.

“Unite will not be making any further comment while talks are ongoing.”

Heathrow has already cancelled around 177 flights on Monday and Tuesday, causing disruption to passengers.

But the scale of disruption would have been worse if Monday’s strike had gone ahead.

Passengers are being urged to check with their airline for the latest news on flights.

Unite members, including security staff, firefighters and engineers have voted heavily against a pay offer Heathrow said was worth 7.3% over two-and-a-half years.

If you are travelling from Heathrow on Monday or Tuesday, here are some things to bear in mind, according to the UK Civil Aviation Authority:

  • If a passenger’s flight is cancelled their airline must rebook them on to an alternative flight, or offer a full refund for the entire booking (ie. return flight as well).

  • If a passenger experiences a delay at the airport while waiting for their flight, their airline must provide care and assistance (meal vouchers etc) regardless of the cause of the delay.

  • If a flight cancellation or delay is the result of industrial action taken by third-party employees (ie. airport staff) then an airline is probably not obliged to pay compensation to passengers.

  • Airports are not legally obliged to pay flight delay compensation to passengers.