Passengers flying from London Heathrow airport could face disruption this spring after it was announced that members of the Unite union are to hold a ballot on strike action.
Unite, which represents 3,000 security guards, engineers and firefighters at the UK hub, said that strike action could take place from early April and include walkouts over the Easter holiday period. The ballot of members will start on 17 February.
The union is in dispute with Heathrow over pay and has just rejected a proposed 10 per cent wage increase by the airport because it was “in effect a pay cut” due to the current high level of inflation in the UK.
Wayne King, Unite’s regional co-ordinating officer, said: “If our members at HAL (Heathrow Airports Ltd) take strike action it will inevitably cause severe disruption throughout Heathrow with delays, disruption and cancellations of flights inevitable.”
Meanwhile Heathrow has announced that it catered for 5.4 million passengers in January – the busiest January since 2020 when its traffic reached 6.1 million people before the Covid-19 pandemic stuck. It was also a rise of 111 per cent on the same month last year.
The airport also stressed that it had “successfully managed” strike action by Border Force staff over the Christmas holidays.
Heathrow’s CEO John Holland-Kaye, who announced his resignation earlier this month, added: “Heathrow is back to its best, with passenger satisfaction scores meeting or exceeding 2019 levels.”
The airport had to impose a daily cap of 100,000 departing passengers last summer due to a lack of staffing but this was lifted for the current winter season.