Heathrow Airport strike: Menzies ground staff begin 72-hour walk out over pay

The strike action by ground staff employed by Menzies at Heathrow Airport is set to affect a range of airlines and disrupt flights

Ground staff employed by a private contractor at Heathrow Airport have begun a 72-hour strike. Around 350 members of Unite working for Menzies started the action from 4am on Friday.

The strike by workers at the aviation services firm is set to affect a range of airlines and disrupt a number of flights leaving terminals 2, 3 and 4.

Unite says the strike action will particularly affect Air Canada, American Airlines, Luthansa, Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus and Finnair.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members at Menzies will receive the union’s comprehensive support.” Unite said Menzies had made pay offers below Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation.

On Friday the union posted an image on its Twitter page on Friday morning of some of the striking workers holding placards. A picket line was in place on the north side of the junction of Nene Road and Bath Road. Forbes reports that eight hours into the strike at noon, four flights out of Heathrow had been cancelled.

Is there any other strike action by workers taking place?

Strikes scheduled to take place involving workers at Dnata have been called off after members accepted an improved offer. Strike action involving Menzies workers employed in its cargo and trucking sections has been suspended to allow the workers to be balloted on an improved offer, which means passengers with Qatar Airways going to the World Cup will not be directly affected by the dispute, said Unite.

Alex Doisneau, managing director, Dnata UK, Airport Operations (Ground Handling & Cargo), said: “We are pleased to have reached agreement on this pay award, which reflects the huge respect we have for our employees in the UK.

“The agreed package, including both a pay increase and immediate support for the short term, provides concrete support for our employees amidst the current cost-of-living crisis. Dnata is heavily invested in the UK and we look forward to continuing our journey with our employees as we focus our efforts on strengthening our leading position in the market.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “A number of Menzies colleagues will go on strike at Heathrow this weekend. Affected airlines already have contingency matters in place and flight cancellations are not anticipated. We encourage passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline.”