Heathrow firefighters and security guards to strike 'over forced pay cut'

Firefighters and security guards at Heathrow Airport are to stage a series of strikes after union leaders accused bosses of forcing 4,000 workers to take a pay cut.

Unite has called 24-hour stoppages on Tuesday December 1st and Monday December 14th followed by a two-day strike starting on Thursday December 17th.

But Heathrow said contingency plans would allow the airport to stay open during the walkouts. 

The union, which represents 3,000 airport workers, claimed its members were being told to sign new contracts involving pay cuts of up to £8,000 a year.

They include firefighters, security guards, engineers and baggage carousel operators.

Workers are taking strike action as a direct result of Heathrow Airport's brutal proposals to fire and rehire them on greatly reduced wages. The airport is using the Covid-19 pandemic as a smokescreen to permanently cut workers' pay.

Wayne King, Unite

The airport said workers facing pay cuts would be reimbursed for two years and changes to staff terms and conditions avoided the need for compulsory redundancies.Heathrow has lost £1.5bn since the start of the pandemic.

It's very disappointing that Unite has decided to take strike action during the worst crisis to hit the aviation sector. We will now activate extensive contingency plans which will keep the airport open and operating safety throughout this period.

Heathrow spokesperson

Owner of Southend Airport says it's still solvent despite losing Aer Lingus contract