STRIKES involving more than 4,000 workers at Heathrow Airport, which were scheduled for late August have been suspended “to allow a ballot on a revised pay offer to take place”, reveals Unite union.
Airport staff were due to walk out on the dates 23 and 24 August, after the rejection of an 18-month pay rise amounting to 2.7 per cent which, according to the union, amounts to just £3.75 extra a day for the lowest paid employees involved in the dispute.
Last year, John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport, received a 103.2 per cent pay increase, from £2.1m in 2017, to £4.2m in 2018.
The airport has increased its pay offer from 7.3 per cent to 7.8 per cent over a two-year period, BBC News reports.
More than 170 flights were cancelled at Heathrow ahead of the proposed strikes on 4 and 5 August, which were then postponed.
A statement on the union’s website reads: “The ballot on the revised pay offer made by Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) to over 4,000 security, airside operations and passenger services personnel who work across the airport’s five terminals, is now underway, closing on Monday 2 September.
“Strike action proposed for 23-24 August has been suspended to allow the ballot to take place.”
An official statement from Heathrow to its customers, reads: “Unite has postponed the strike action scheduled for Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August to give their union members the time to consider Heathrow’s revised pay offer.
“We’d like to reassure you that the airport will continue to operate as normal on these days with no amendments to any flight schedules.”
Unite and the airport authorities have been engaged in talks under the auspices of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).