Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has warmly welcomed leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer's unqualified support for the workers who are fighting the brutal decision of Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) to fire and rehire its workforce on vastly reduced terms and conditions.

Heathrow visit

As part of Sir Keir’s visit to Heathrow airport today (Thursday 11 February) he took the time to meet with Unite’s senior lay representatives at HAL. The workers were able to describe to the Labour leader how the company’s decision to force through a fire and rehire programme, which has led to wage cuts of up to 25 per cent (£8,000 per annum) has affected them and their families.

Following the meeting Keir Starmer tweeted: “Today I met @unitetheunion reps at Heathrow who are fighting against fire and rehire. They told me about the devastating impact this awful practice has had on them, their families and communities. It has made me even more determined to outlaw fire and rehire.”

Targeted strike action

The workers are currently taking targeted strike action in their campaign to force HAL to return to the negotiating table and reverse its fire and rehire policy. The workers have already taken two days of strike action in the past week and will take further strike action this Saturday 13 February.

Welcome support

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: “Keir Starmer’s support for Unite’s campaign against the brutal fire and rehire policy that HAL has forced on its loyal workforce, is hugely welcome.

 “Having taken the time to sit down with our members, Keir was genuinely shocked and disturbed to learn how HAL had treated them and the effect that fire and rehire has had on them and their families.

 “Keir Starmer’s positive support for our campaign will act as a huge boost for our members and spur them on to redouble their efforts to reverse HAL’s brutal fire and rehire policy.

 “Our members will now invite prime minister Boris Johnson to meet with them, so he can understand what fire and rehire means for workers and commit to making this despicable practice illegal.

 “As a local Heathrow MP this dispute is directly relevant to him as many of his constituents will work for HAL and will be currently experiencing the agony of fire and rehire.”


Notes to editors:

 During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

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.