Heathrow Airport security to stage 33 fresh summer strikes in row over pay

A British Airways plane takes off from Heathrow airport in West London
The wave of strike action will involve over 2,000 security officers. Credit: PA

Security guards at Heathrow Airport are to stage a series of 33 fresh strikes in a dispute over pay, Unite has announced.

The industrial action involving over 2,000 security officers is set to begin on Saturday, June 17, carrying on into the August Bank Holiday.

It follows three days of strike action held in late May as staff are locked in a dispute with Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) over pay.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham “Unite is putting Heathrow on notice that strike action at the airport will continue until it makes a fair pay offer to its workers.

"Make no mistake, our members will receive the union’s unflinching support in this dispute. HAL has got its priorities all wrong.

Dates workers will strike

June: 17, 18, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30

July: 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 31

August: 4, 5, 6 ,7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27 These dates include Eid festival (June 28, 29 and 30), the beginning of the school holidays (July 21, 22, 23, 24) and the August bank holiday (24, 25, 26, 27).

"This is an incredibly wealthy company, which this summer is anticipating bumper profits and an executive pay bonanza.

"It’s also expected to pay out huge dividends to shareholders, yet its workers can barely make ends and are paid far less than workers at other airports."

For the first time security officers based at Terminal Three, who voted for strike action last week, will join their colleagues from Terminal Five and campus security on the picket line, Unite said.

Campus security are responsible for checking all personnel and vehicles going airside.

The union warns that a number of airlines face disruption, delays and cancellation as a result of the Terminal Three walkout, including Virgin, Emirates, Qatar, United, American and Delta.

The extensive walkouts at Terminal Five will heavily affect British Airway’s summer schedule.

Unite members are striking having rejected a pay offer of 10.1% - which is higher than the latest CPI inflation rate of 8.7%.

The union points to the current rate of RPI inflation - a measurement that includes mortgage interest payments - which was last measured at 11.4%.

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"There is widespread bitterness among the workforce about how HAL used the cover of the pandemic to slash wages in real terms, using a ‘fire and rehire’ strategy," Unite added.

Research by the union suggests that since 2017 the average remuneration of HAL workers has fallen by 24% in real terms.

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: “Delays, disruption and cancelations will be inevitable as a result of the strike action. But this dispute is completely of HAL’s own making. “The company has been given numerous opportunities to make an offer that meets our members’ expectations and so avoid another period of damaging strike action. Sadly, HAL has stubbornly refused to take this opportunity.”

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