Heathrow workers call off first of summer strikes as 'gesture of goodwill' following pay offer

12 June 2023, 20:49

The first round of Heathrow strikes this summer has been suspended
The first round of Heathrow strikes this summer has been suspended. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The first two days of Heathrow strikes in the summer have been suspended after staff were offered an increased pay offer.

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Some 2,000 staff have agreed to postpone planned strikes at the London airport on June 24 and 25 after receiving a new pay offer.

Unite the union announced they will be holding a vote on the latest pay deal in the coming days to decide whether to call off the action.

But if the offer is rejected the following 29 days of strikes will continue to go ahead as normal.

It comes after security officers at Heathrow announced they would walk out after they turned down an offer of 10.1% because it was “below inflation”.

The strike announcements were met with disappointment and anger from Brits hoping to get away this summer holidays, as it means Terminals 3 and 5 will be affected.

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Nick Ferrari on Heathrow airport strikes

Unite said it had called off the initial strikes "as a gesture of goodwill".

Regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: "Following extensive negotiations last week a new offer was put forward by HAL.

"Members will now be balloted on the latest offer and they will decide whether or not it meets their expectations."

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham has said security staff at Heathrow "can barely make ends meet and are paid far less than workers at other airports".

Read more: Heathrow airport security strikes: Dates, terminals and how they will affect your summer holiday

Read more: Fury as holidays ruined for 15,000 Easyjet passengers, as airline axes more than 100 Gatwick flights amid stormy weather

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "We are pleased to have agreed a pay deal which unions are recommending their members to accept.

"This a great deal for colleagues, giving them two years of guaranteed above inflation pay rises, alongside further benefits and assurances that they told us they wanted.

"We encourage them to accept the deal so that everyone can have certainty and the backdated pay increase that so many have been waiting for.

"While a ballot takes place, the first weekend of strikes has been cancelled."

During previous strikes, the airport's contingency plans have included deploying office staff to assist passengers entering security checkpoints.

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