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Heathrow Airport To Cancel 172 Flights On Monday And Tuesday Over Pay Dispute
3 August 2019, 15:23 | Updated: 3 August 2019, 15:26
Heathrow Airport will cancel 172 flights on Monday and Tuesday after thousands of workers overwhelmingly rejected a revised pay offer.
Workers at Heathrow Airport, including security guards, firefighters and engineers, voted by almost 9-1 to reject a pay offer, says union Unite.
A two-day strike is planned to start on Monday, with a further 48-hour stoppage due from August 23rd.
Heathrow Airport cancelled a number of flights for Monday and Tuesday before hearing the result of the ballot.
Unite said it would immediately enter talks at the conciliation service Acas, warning Heathrow against choosing to pay millions of pounds in compensation to airlines for cancelled flights rather than using the money to settle the dispute.
Unite regional officer Wayne King said: "Heathrow faces a compensation bill in the region of £4.6 million from airlines if the planned strikes go ahead.
"Rather than provoking the disruption that strike action will cause, we would urge Heathrow Airport to use this money for an improved pay offer that better reflects the hard work of the workers who keep the airport running safely and smoothly.
"This latest vote for strike action points to growing anger among the airport's workers in a whole range of vital jobs which are essential to the smooth and safe running of Heathrow.
"It is in Heathrow bosses' power to settle this dispute. We would urge them to work with us to do so and avoid the disruption to passengers that strike action will inevitably bring."
A spokesperson for the airport said: "We are disappointed that Unite has rejected the latest pay offer and will continue to seek an agreement at Acas.
"Unite is proceeding with its unnecessary strike action on August 5th and 6th, and we regret that passengers looking to get away on well-earned breaks will be impacted by this.
"We have activated emergency contingency plans which will keep the airport open and safe on both strike days. We expect security queue times to be slightly longer than normal and advise passengers to check our website for detailed information on how to prepare for their flights and when to arrive at the airport."