Heathrow Airport is braced for major disruption beginning tomorrow as ground handlers employed by Menzies take strike action.

The 350 workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin a 72 hour stoppage at 04:00 on Friday 18 November.

The dispute will lead to disruption, delays and cancellation for flights leaving Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4. The strike action will particularly affect Air Canada, American Airlines, Luthansa, Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus and Finnair.

Wealthy company

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members at Menzies play a critical role in ensuring that planes operate safely at Heathrow. Menzies is a wealthy company and it can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase. It is greed not need which is preventing a fair pay offer being made.

 “Unite’s members at Menzies will receive the union’s comprehensive support.”

Derisory offer

The strike is a result of Menzies making derisory pay offers to the ground handlers. All of the offers made to date are far below the current real inflation rate of 14.2 per cent (RPI) and amount to a substantial real terms pay cut.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “The strike action will inevitably cause serious delays for passengers at Heathrow but this dispute is entirely of Menzies own making. It has had every opportunity to make our members’ a fair pay offer, but it has stubbornly refused to do so.”

Some settlements

Strikes scheduled to take place involving workers at Dnata have been called off after members accepted an improved offer. Strike action involving Menzies workers employed in its cargo and trucking sections has been suspended to allow the workers to be balloted on a significantly improved offer. Due to the Dnata and Menzies Cargo strike not going ahead, passengers with Qatar Airways going to the World Cup will not be directly affected by the dispute.

A picket line will be in place from 04:00 it will be on the north side of the junction of Nene Road and Bath Road (opposite The Esso garage), postcode TW6 2AU.


Notes to editors

World Cup travellers facing Heathrow flight woe as workers strike over pay

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

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.