Last-ditch talks to avert strike by Heathrow Airport security guards fail

Heathrow Airport Credit: PA

Last-ditch talks between Heathrow Airport and union officials in a bid to avert a planned strike by security guards have failed to resolve a pay dispute.

More than 1,400 Unite members who work at Terminal Five are set to walk out for 10 days from Friday (March 31) until Easter Sunday in a dispute over pay.

The action likely to disrupt school holiday travel.

The airport will remain open during the strike days but disruption to some journeys is likely and passengers will only be allowed to travel through security with two items of hand baggage (carry-on baggage).

Allowances for checked-in luggage will remain as normal.

Passengers queuing to go through security in departures at Terminal 5 Credit: PA

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "Workers at Heathrow Airport are on poverty wages while the chief executive and senior managers enjoy huge salaries. It is the airport's workers who are fundamental to its success and they deserve a fair pay increase.

"Our members are simply unable to make ends meet due to the low wages paid by Heathrow. They are being forced to take strike action due to need not greed.

"Unite has a laser-like focus on prioritising the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and HAL needs to be in no doubt that the workers at the airport will receive the union's unstinting support."

The airport said it has contingency plans in place to deal with the action.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "We will not let these unnecessary strikes impact the hard-earned holidays of our passengers. Our contingency plans will keep the airport operating as normal throughout.

"We are deploying 1,000 additional colleagues and the entire management team who will be in the terminals providing assistance to passengers over the busy Easter getaway.

"We know that the majority of colleagues do not support strike action. Following further talks, Unite has again refused to take an improved offer to members, despite the PCS union wanting to do so.

"Colleagues could have an above inflation 10% pay increase back-dated to 1st January and a lump sum payment of £1,150, but instead they’re left empty-handed by Unite’s actions. The only reason Unite refuse to take the improved offer to members is because they fear they’ll back it."

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