Potential industrial action at Heathrow has been averted after a multi-year pay deal was agreed by members of Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, employed in baggage handling at the airport.

Hundreds of workers

The pay deal covers hundreds of workers employed by Babcock Airports Ltd, comprising five different bargaining units across Heathrow airport and covers a workforce of mechanical and electrical technicians and baggage operational staff.

Two year pay deal

Following eight months of negotiations and extensive talks at the conciliation service Acas, Unite members agreed a two year pay deal which will see a three per cent pay increase in 2019 and 2020. The increase will apply from August and be paid next month.

In addition Babcock agreed to review workers’ contracts on an annual basis, with a commitment that terms will not be reduced and all existing workers will benefit. The review of the contract will be completed by the end of March 2020. By the same date Babcock will also review contractual redundancy pay.

Reps fantastic job

Unite regional officer Lindsey Olliver said: “Unite’s reps at Babcock did a fantastic job in negotiating the best deal possible for our members.

“It is important to thank Acas for its assistance in getting this deal agreed. Without Acas’ assistance, it is likely that there would not have been an agreement and our members would have had no option to be balloted for industrial action, potentially causing serious disruption at Heathrow.

“Following this agreement on pay and the further agreement to consider workers’ conditions it is hoped that we can develop a strong working relationship in the future.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.