Heathrow strike: Refuelling workers to stage three day walkout hitting 70 airlines including Emirates and KLM

The workers provide refuelling services to 70 airlines at Heathrow Airport, including Virgin Atlantic, American Airline and Emirates.

Refuelling workers at Heathrow airport will stage a three day walkout next week, in a dispute over pay.

Members of Unite, employed by Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) Ltd, will stage an initial 72-hour walkout beginning at 5am on Thursday July 21 and ending at 4.59am on Sunday July 24.

Refuelling workers at Heathrow airport have announced a three day walkout at the end of the month in a dispute over pay.

The workers are taking industrial action as they have gone without a pay increase for three years, which has seen their incomes fall by 15.5% due to inflation.

Unite said that AFS made an offer of a 10% increase but this was rejected by workers as it “did not meet their expectations.”

The action affects about 50 workers, a union representative said.

Which airlines will be affected by the Heathrow refuelling strike?

The strike action will cause considerable disruption and delays throughout Heathrow as AFS provides fuelling services to over 70 airlines at the airport including Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, United, SAS, Air France, Emirates, Delta, JAL, KLM and Singapore Airlines.

Dates for these walkouts are yet to be announced.

Sharon Graham

What has Unite said about the Heathrow strikes?

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “AFS needs to offer its workers a decent pay rise.

“Oil and gas companies are making massive profits so AFS has the wherewithal to make a proper offer.

“AFS workers have sustained wage cuts for three years so it’s time AFS rewarded their sacrifices.

“Our members at AFS will receive Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved and workers receive a decent pay increase.”

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “Strike action will inevitably cause considerable disruption across Heathrow but this strike is entirely of AFS’s own making.

“Unite has given the company every opportunity to make a decent pay offer and it has failed to do so.

“Even now strike action and the resulting disruption can be avoided if AFS returns to the negotiating table and makes an offer that meets our member’ expectations.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We are aware of proposed industrial action from Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) colleagues at Heathrow, and we are in discussions with our airline partners on what contingency plans they can implement, including using other fuel suppliers already operating at the airport.”

LondonWorld has contacted AFS for comment.