Heathrow baggage carousel workers to strike over poor pay offer

170 workers to walk out and bring baggage services to a halt

Unite, Britain’s leading trade union, has announced today (Tuesday 12 September) that its members at Vanderlande Industries are to strike over pay, bringing travel disruption to Heathrow Airport this autumn.

Around 170 workers who conduct high-end maintenance and servicing of baggage carousels, ensuring passengers’ luggage is delivered into the terminal buildings safely and on time, are to walk out in October following a failure by the employer to improve their derisory pay offer.

Vanderlande Industries has made two below-inflation pay offers of just five per cent and 2.5 per cent that have been roundly rejected by Unite members. Vanderlande is pleading poverty and yet their last accounts at Companies House show profits of £3.7 million[1]. Its parent company has increased revenue by 32 per cent to €2.4 billion[2].

Industrial action will take place in two waves on the following dates:

17:30 on 6th October – 06:00 on 9th October 

05:30 on 20th October – 06:00 on 30th October 

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Workers at Heathrow Airport employed by Vanderlande do a safety and security critical role that passengers depend on. The fact that their employer refuses to recognise this, as shown by their pitiful pay offer, speaks volumes.”

“Our members will have the full support of their union as they head to the picket line in their fight for a fair pay rise.”

Unite Regional Officer, Russ Ball, added: “Vanderlande is treating its workers appallingly and Unite’s complete focus on jobs, pay and conditions will mean that our members at Heathrow will receive the union’s unflinching support during their strike action.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications adviser David Carnell on 07718 666592.

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.