Heathrow workers begin strike action

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

Today, Heathrow Airport workers have begun their strike over plans to fire and rehire 4000 workers on worse pay and conditions.

Workers including engineers, security, and baggage operators have been taking strike action which severely affected the operation the airport, with 85% of the Heathrow Limited Airport workforce having backed industrial action.

The workers will be striking for four days across December. Today was their first day of action. They will also be striking on the 14th, 17th, and 18th.

The strikers have received support from a number of senior figures:

Hayes and Harlington MP, John McDonnell is a vocal backer of the workers and recently spoke out in parliament against their unjust treatment. This morning, he joined the strikers at a picket line.

The Labour group on Hillingdon Council also expressed solidarity. Their leader, Cllr Peter Curling said:

"Workers should absolutely be supported to stand up for themselves in the workplace, and where employers try to water down employee pay and conditions, it is only right that strong trade unions step in. Workers at Heathrow are fighting for their livelihoods, and we stand with them in solidarity".

As the employer, Heathrow have expressed their disappointment at the strikes. On their website they state:

"It's very disappointing that Unite has decided to take strike action during the worst crisis to hit the aviation sector. Our focus has been to protect jobs - which is why we've offered every frontline colleague who wants one, a job at a market rate salary above the London Living Wage, even despite a loss of over £1.5bn to our business so far this year".

"We want to minimise disruption for our passengers and ensure everyone can travel safely and easily, and that's why we are implementing contingency plans to keep the airport operating throughout any strike action".

The next day of strike action will take place on December 14th.