Heathrow Airport strike: Unite calls off 31-day walkout after last-minute improved offer

Unite the union said its members will no longer strike following an improved pay offer from the employers.

A union has called off strikes that would have likely caused chaos at Heathrow Airport this summer. Unite, the union that represents 2,000 security staff, said it has cancelled the strike which could have seen its members walk out on June 24 for 31 days over a long-standing pay dispute.

According to reports, the decision was made after Heathrow Airport issued an improved pay offer. Regional Unite boss Wayne King said: “Following extensive negotiations last week, a new offer was put forward by Heathrow Airports Ltd.”

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It added: “Members will now be balloted on the latest offer and they will decide whether or not it meets their expectations.” The union had previously said its members working at terminals three  and five, as well as campus security, would walk out from June 24 to August 27.

Their action could have led to queues at security checkpoints, which Unite described as a “major escalation” in its dispute with the airport. This came after the workers rejected a "below inflation pay offer of 10.1%", while noting that the higher rate of inflation, RPI, is now 11.4%.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We have delivered excellent service to passengers, with no cancellations, over eight days of strikes on the busiest days in May, and do not anticipate cancellations as a result of strikes during the summer holiday getaway.”

Aviation analytics company Cirium said 20,136 flights are scheduled to depart from Heathrow on the postponed strike days between June 24 and August 27, equating to more than 4.4 million seats.

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