Heathrow Airport baggage handler strike postponed after pay offer

More than 160 baggage maintenance engineers belonging to Unite the Union were due to walk out from April 8 to April 10.

Heathrow Airport’s Easter holiday strike action has been postponed following a new pay offer.

More than 160 baggage maintenance engineers belonging to Unite the Union were due to walk out from April 8 to April 10.

Baggage maintenance engineers have voted for a three-day strike from April 8 to April 10 in a row over pay.

Employees of Vanderlande Industries, which manages the airport’s entire luggage handling system, had voted in favour of strike action after being told their pay would be frozen.

This is despite Vanderlande Industries reporting a growth in revenue for 2021.

According to a Unite spokesperson, the strike action has been postponed to allow its Vanderlande members to vote on the new pay offer.

The strike would have affected the whole baggage handling system at the airport and caused delays to passengers at every terminal.

Unite says that if the deal is rejected by the membership, then strikes will be rescheduled for a later date.

Vanderlande Industries claims that the pay freeze is necessary as Heathrow Airport is responsible for the baggage handlers’ salaries.

Unite regional officer Lindsey Olliver said: “During negotiations last week, held under the auspices of the conciliation service ACAS, Vanderlande put forward a new offer.

“Over the next two weeks, Unite will be balloting our members on whether it meets their aspirations.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We are pleased to hear that industrial action planned for this weekend has been postponed.

“This involved colleagues from Vanderlande Industries who operate at Heathrow.

“While their discussions remain ongoing with their employer we will continue to liaise with airport partners on contingency plans for the airport’s operations, should the action be rescheduled at a future date.”