Security officers employed at Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) are to take a further eight days of strike action in a dispute over pay. The workers will now take industrial action on 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 May and then again on 25, 26, 27 May. 

Heathrow disruption

This will cause inevitable disruption and delays at the airport.

The 1,400 security officers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, also took 10 days of strike action over Easter, which caused considerable disruption at the airport and resulted in hundreds of flights being cancelled.

Eye watering executive earnings

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Yet again, we have a chief executive in John Holland-Kaye who thinks it is acceptable to boost his earnings by an eye watering 88 per cent, from £800,000 to a staggering £1.5 million, while he denies his own workers a decent pay rise.

“This dispute is bound to escalate with more workers being balloted and disruption set to continue throughout the summer.”

 Staff exodus

Earlier this month, Unite warned that the endemic low pay was likely to create an exodus of security staff from the airport. A survey of security officers undertaken by Unite revealed that more than one in three (35 per cent) were planning to leave their roles.

Need not greed

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: “Strikes next month will cause further disruption to airport passengers but this dispute is a direct result of Heathrow’s stubborn refusal to make an offer that meets our members’ expectations.

“Our members have been crystal clear they are seeking a substantial permanent increase in pay. A small one off lump sum payment will not alleviate the financial pressures our members are facing on a daily basis.

“While the CEO can enjoy a lavish millionaire’s lifestyle, our members struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table. This is about need not greed.” 


Notes to editors:

The current average salary of a Heathrow security officer, working endless shifts, is £30,000. This is made up of a basic £26,000, after three years’ experience, with a £4,000 shift allowance.  A 24 per cent cut in real terms since 2017. This is in stark contrast to the remuneration of the chief executive, John Holland-Kaye. The latest HAL accounts show that between 2020 and 2021 his pay soared from £800,000 to £1.5 million per annum - an increase of an astonishing 88 per cent. 

Between 2017 and 2019 HAL paid out £2.1 billion in dividends to shareholders in its holding company, FGP Topco. FGP Topco is privately owned, with the top investors being the Spanish infrastructure company, Ferrovial (25 per cent of the shares), and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (20 per cent).

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.