Heathrow security to strike for 10 days including Easter

Security guards at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Five are to strike for 10 days from 31 March in a dispute over pay.

According to the Unite union, over 1,400 of its members employed by Heathrow will go on strike during the school Easter holidays.

Workers at T5, which is used by British Airways, as well as those who check cargo entering the airport, will take part in the strike, which will last until Easter Sunday.

Heathrow says it will implement contingency plans to keep the airport open.

In a statement, Heathrow said passengers can be assured the airport will be “open and operational despite unnecessary threats of strike action by Unite”.

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The company said it had proposed “an inflation-beating 10% increase in pay”.

However, Unite claims that the offer does not compensate for years of pay freezes and cuts.

Unite union secretary general Sharon Graham says workers at Heathrow Airport are on “poverty wages” while “the chief executive and senior managers enjoy huge salaries”.

She said Unite members are “simply unable to make ends meet due to the low wages” and they are striking “due to need not greed”.

“The airport’s workers are critical to its success, and they deserve a fair pay increase,” the Unite boss said.

It comes after more than 1,000 Passport Office employees announced a five-week strike over a disagreement over jobs, pay, and working conditions.

Employees of the Public and Commercial Services union in England, Scotland, and Wales will go on strike from April 3 to May 5.

Meanwhile, workers in Belfast will go on strike from April 7 to May 5.

The union warned of delays in passport applications and delivery in the run-up to summer, adding that the strike action was intended to cause widespread disruption.

According to travel expert Simon Calder, the Passport Office can receive 250,000 applications per week during peak times, which include April. This means that over a million applications could be submitted during the strike period.

The strike has raised concerns that passports will not be processed in time for some people’s summer vacations.

The Home Office expressed disappointment with PCS’s decision to strike, but added that the strike has no effect on its guidance, which is to allow up to 10 weeks to obtain a passport, with preparations underway to meet demand.

When the strike at Heathrow T5 begins on March 31, the airport will most likely need to shift resources from other areas.

The airport says the wage proposal on offer is fair, and “threatening to ruin people’s hard-earned holidays with strike action will not improve the deal”.

It stated that Heathrow employees are paid at least the London Living Wage, and that if its 10% offer is accepted, the starting salary for a security officer would be £27,754, plus shift pay and allowances.

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