Heathrow Airport strike chaos as 1,400 staff to walk out on eight days in May, including Coronation

Unite members working at airport security have announced fresh walkouts in May

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Passengers at Heathrow Airport face “inevitable” travel disruption next month as security officers announced a further eight days of strikes in a dispute over pay.

Unite has said 1,400 security staff will take part in walkouts in May, including the bank holiday weekend for King Charles’ Coronation, which will be held on 6 May.

Members of the union will strike on 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 25, 26 and 27 next month, which Unite says will cause “disruption and delays” at a time when people are expected to be travelling to the UK for the historic royal occasion.

The 1,400 security officers involved in the dispute already staged 10 days of action over Easter after rejecting the offer of a 10% pay increase.

Security officers at Heathrow Airport are to stage eight days of strikes in May (Photo: Getty Images)Security officers at Heathrow Airport are to stage eight days of strikes in May (Photo: Getty Images)
Security officers at Heathrow Airport are to stage eight days of strikes in May (Photo: Getty Images)

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Yet again, we have a chief executive who thinks it is acceptable to boost his earnings while he denies his own workers a decent pay rise.

“This dispute is bound to escalate with more workers being balloted and disruption set to continue throughout the summer.”

Unite regional officer Wayne King said the ongoing dispute is “a direct result of Heathrow’s stubborn refusal to make an offer” that meets the expectations of its members, adding that union members have been “crystal clear they are seeking a substantial permanent increase in pay”

Mr King added: “A small one-off lump sum payment will not alleviate the financial pressures our members are facing on a daily basis.”

Heathrow said it has been engaged in talks with Unite for months and its offer since January has been a 10% pay increase. But in talks last week it said it had improved the offer with a further £1,150 lump sum this year. The airport claims Unite was refusing to put the revised offer to its members.

The dispute involves security guards based at Terminal 5 and other Unite members have voted against strikes, the airport pointed out.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We kept Heathrow running smoothly during the first 10 days of Unite’s failed industrial action, and passengers can have confidence that we will do so again this time. We will not let Unite disrupt the flow of visitors to the UK during such an important period for the country.

“Instead of chasing headlines, Unite should listen to its members. The majority of Heathrow colleagues do not want to strike and want to accept the offer on the table.

“Each day that Unite refuses to allow members to vote on the 10% pay increase and a £1,150 lump sum payment is a day that costs colleagues money they deserve now.”

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