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Heathrow strike suspended as staff vote on new pay offer

Written by on 14/08/2019

The planned strike by thousands of workers at the UK’s biggest airport has been suspended while staff vote on the latest pay offer.

Widespread disruption was expected at Heathrow Airport as the walkout was set to take place on the 23-24 August bank holiday weekend.

The Unite union said a ballot is under way on the new offer made by Heathrow to more than 4,000 security, passenger services and airside operations staff.

Passengers make their way towards the Baggage reclaim and flight connections in Terminal 2 having arrived at Heathrow Airport in London on July 16, 2019 (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Image: Heathrow is the UK’s busiest airport

The ballot will close on 2 September, with the industrial action suspended while it is ongoing.

A Heathrow spokesman said the airport was “pleased” at the suspension of the strike.

He said: “We have put an additional £2.5 million on the table since talks began, with our current offer bringing the total pay rise to 7.8% over two years for all front-line colleagues.

“This is well above RPI (inflation), higher than any other UK airport and helps to provide long-term wage certainty and job security.

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“Heathrow has a duty to ensure the business is sustainable – particularly against the backdrop of increasing economic uncertainty facing the UK in the immediate future.”

The airport adds: “The pay offer we have put on the table achieves that, in addition to being rewarding and fair to all colleagues.”

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The planned strikes came amid anger over the pay hike for Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye, who last year saw his basic pay package double, soaring from £2.1m in 2017 to £4.2m in 2018. Workers say they are not fairly rewarded.

Earlier this month, another walkout was suspended while a previous pay offer was voted on by the airport’s staff, resulting in more than 150 flights being cancelled in preparation.

Last year, 80.1 million people used Heathrow Airport, making it the world’s seventh busiest airport.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2019

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