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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Ground handlers at London Heathrow airport go on a 72-hour strike over pay

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On November 18, 2022, about 350 ground handlers at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) went on a 72-hour strike.

The strike, which is expected to end at 04:00  on November 21, 2022, is about a salary issue.

The workers are hired by private contractor Menzies and are Unite members, which is the largest trade union in the UK and Ireland.

“Unite’s members at Menzies play a critical role in ensuring that planes operate safely at Heathrow,” Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary said in a statement.

“Menzies is a wealthy company and it can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase.

Unite’s members at Menzies will receive the union’s comprehensive support,” Graham added.

Unite asserts that Menzies offered salary offers that were below the rate of growth in the Retail Price Index (RPI).

Unite says delays may be inevitable, but that the dispute is of Menzies’ “own making”.

“The strike action will inevitably cause serious delays for passengers at Heathrow but this dispute is entire of Menzies’ own making,” Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said in a statement.

Hall added: “It has had every opportunity to make our members a fair pay offer, but it has stubbornly refused to do so.”

Flight cancellations are not anticipated, an LHR official told local media, adding that the impacted airlines have already put emergency procedures in place.

Most likely, flights leaving Heathrow Terminals 2, 3, and 4 will be impacted by the conflict.

Air Canada (ADH2), American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian Airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus, and Finnair will be notably impacted by the strike action.

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