Unite, Britain's biggest union, has announced a 48 hour strike, starting from 21 November at 04:00 by its members employed by Menzies World Cargo, who work at the DHL facility at Heathrow, in a dispute over pay.
Menzies World Cargo staff working on the DHL contract at Heathrow are furious over revelations that they earn up to 22 per cent less than other workers at Menzies World Cargo who do a very similar job.
A strike would cause serious disruption to DHL's overseas deliveries in the run-up to Christmas. This latest development follows a breakdown in negotiations at the conciliation service Acas where the union was working hard to reach a deal.
In June, during pay negotiations Menzies told its World Cargo staff based at Heathrow that their two-year pay freeze was justified on the basis that other workers at London Heathrow - including Unite members on the DHL contract - earn on average between 15 - 22 per cent less than them for doing a very similar job.
These revelations infuriated workers on the same DHL contract when they heard about the claims made by the company and are now demanding action from their employers to close the pay gap.
Menzies made £35.6 million in underlying operating profits in 2012 from its aviation division, which was up by 16 per cent on 2011.
Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: "DHL's overseas deliveries in the run-up to Christmas face serious disruption because Menzies World Cargo has been playing divisive games with its staff during pay negotiations.
"Menzies is telling its cargo workforce to take a two year pay freeze because their DHL colleagues doing the same job earn up to 22 per cent less. But Menzies is also trying to get away with giving the DHL workers a below inflation pay deal. Our members have called time on these divide and rule tactics.
"It is time for the company to sit down and sort out this mess over pay and avoid a strike."
Unite represents 101 workers at the DHL facility in Heathrow.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.