Heathrow strikes: Full week of walkouts announced over outsourcing plans - full dates

An Ethiopian Airlines jet landing at Heathrow. An Ethiopian Airlines jet landing at Heathrow.
An Ethiopian Airlines jet landing at Heathrow.
Unite has announced further strikes by Heathrow staff in May 2024.

Heathrow workers will take part in a week of strike action in May over the airport’s “intention to outsource hundreds of roles in a cost-cutting exercise”.

The union Unite said nearly 800 members will walk out from the beginning of Tuesday May 7 to the end of Monday May 13.

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Unite says Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) has ignored consultation procedures and announced a “fait accompli” that workers in passenger services, trolley operations and campus security will be outsourced by June 1.

It says the dispute relates to the outsourcing, the change of employer of workers and the “refusal by HAL to agree multilateral bargaining for groups of workers”.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Heathrow Airport’s actions are deplorable, it is raking in massive profits for the bosses while trying to squeeze every last penny out of its workforce.

“Unite is fully focussed on defending its members jobs, pay and conditions and our members at Heathrow will receive the union’s unrelenting support during this dispute.”

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Heathrow says that, due to contingency plans, it does not anticipate the strikes to impact passengers.

A spokesperson said: “We are reorganising our operations to deliver better results for our customers. There are no job losses as a result of these changes, and we continue to discuss with Unite the implementation of these changes for the small number of colleagues impacted. Unite’s threats of potential industrial action are unnecessary, and customers can be reassured that we will keep the airport operating smoothly just like we have in the past.”

The union said the three outsourced areas are being joined in industrial action by firefighters and airside operations who “fear that the fire service and airside operations may be next in line and support the idea of a multilateral collective bargaining agreement”.

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It argues that the company is “incredibly financially healthy”, with pre-tax profits of £701 million in 2023.

The fresh strikes come in addition to action by around 50 refuellers who work for AFS, a joint venture of oil and gas companies, and are walking out on May 4 over changes to terms and conditions.

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