Heathrow Airport baggage handler strike 2022: possible dates of action, and which airlines could be affected?

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

Heathrow travellers could have their Easter holiday plans disrupted as airport staff are set to take three days of strike action.

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

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 who manage the airport’s entire luggage handling system are involved.

Which airlines are affected?

The strike would affect all airlines operating out of Heathrow, including British Airways, Air France and KLM.

BA is the biggest operator at Heathrow, and was hit with IT issues earlier in the week.

What impact will it have on passengers?

Ahead of previous baggage handler strikes, airlines warned that flights may operate with hand-luggage only.

On some occasions flights were cancelled in advance to mitigate the impact, however this was when the baggage operators were part of a wider strike.

The strikes have been called off in the past, so if you are travelling between April 8 and 10 make sure you keep checking if your flight is going ahead with your airline.

Why are baggage handlers striking?

According to Unite the union, which represents the employees, over 160 baggage maintenance engineers voted in favour of striking after being told their pay would be frozen.

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

Sharon Graham

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Vanderlande is cashing in on the travel sector’s recovery but refusing our members a decent pay rise even as the cost-of-living soars.

“As this resounding vote for action shows, this is not on.

“Employers across the sector are on notice that our members are ready to fight back against the sustained and opportunistic attacks against jobs, pay and conditions that have blighted this industry for far too long.”

Vanderlande Industries claims the pay freeze is necessary as Heathrow Airport was responsible for the cost of increasing wages.

Unite regional officer Lindsey Olliver said: “Vanderlande’s excuses for justifying a pay freeze for some but not others are hypocritical and unfair.

“These excuses will not wash with our members, who are increasingly angry at the company’s inferior treatment of its unionised staff.

“There is still time to avoid strike action and Unite urges Vanderlande and Heathrow to put an end to this dispute by tabling an offer our members can accept.”

What is Heathrow Airport saying?

A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said: “We are aware of planned industrial action from Vanderlande Industries colleagues who operate at Heathrow.

"While we are not involved in the pay discussions, we will of course remain in close contact with Vanderlande Industries and other airport partners when it comes to our operations, including helping them to mitigate any passenger impact should the planned industrial action go ahead.”

Vanderlande Industries has been approached for comment.

British Airways declined to comment.