Heathrow strikes: Airport updates on services after first weekend of industrial action

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Security staff in Terminal 5 are on strike due to a dispute over pay and conditions.

Heathrow Airport has confirmed operations are continuing to run as normal amid 10 days of strikes.

Action began last Friday (March 31) among security staff in Terminal 5, after their union, Unite, and Heathrow were unable to come to an agreement over pay and conditions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The strikes are due to last until Easter Sunday (April 9), with Unite regional coordinating officer Wayne King saying it “will undoubtedly result in severe delays and disruption to passengers across the airport but this dispute is a direct result of Heathrow Airport’s stubborn refusal to pay its workers fairly”.

However, the airport said this morning (April 3) that the airport continues to operate as usual, with security remaining “free flowing”.

British Airways will cancel around 32 flights per day to and from Heathrow over the Easter weekend  (Photo: Getty Images)British Airways will cancel around 32 flights per day to and from Heathrow over the Easter weekend  (Photo: Getty Images)
British Airways will cancel around 32 flights per day to and from Heathrow over the Easter weekend (Photo: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

A spokesperson said that “contingency plans are working well”, after 1,000 additional colleagues were planned to be deployed during the strike period.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They added that further updates will be provided “if the operational situation changes”.

Why are the strikes happening in Heathrow?

The strikes are being held due to a dispute over pay and conditions for security staff in Terminal 5, with talks between Unite and the airport breaking down last week.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Heathrow can afford to pay a decent pay rise to its workers. This is a wealthy company which is about to return to bumper profits.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“In recent years it’s approved an astronomical rise in salary for its CEO and paid out dividends to shareholders worth billions.

“Yet somehow Heathrow executives seem to think it’s acceptable to offer what amounts to a real terms pay cut to its security guards and ground staff who are already on poverty pay.

“Unite has a laser-like focus on our members’ jobs, pay and conditions. The workforce at Heathrow Airport will receive the union’s unswerving support in this fight for a decent deal.”

A Heathrow spokesperson however said “the majority of colleagues do not support strike action”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They added: “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 January 1 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.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.