Security staff at London Heathrow are set to go on strike for eight days in May as part of an ongoing dispute over pay.
The move, which follows recent strikes over the Easter holiday period, will see some 1,400 members of the Unite union, who are employed as security staff at Terminal 5, which is solely used by British Airways, walk out from 4 to 10 May (coinciding with the coronation of King Charles on 6 May) and then again from 25 to 27 May.
A total of 5,148 flights are scheduled to depart the UK hub during the strike period, of which 2,621 (51 per cent) are operated by British Airways, according to data from aviation analytics firm Cirium.
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: “Strikes next month will cause further disruption to airport passengers but this dispute is a direct result of Heathrow’s stubborn refusal to make an offer that meets our members’ expectations.”
Following the Easter strikes, Heathrow said it had “listened to colleagues” and made a new pay offer to staff that reportedly included a £1,150 lump sum this year.
“Our members have been crystal clear they are seeking a substantial permanent increase in pay. A small one-off lump sum payment will not alleviate the financial pressures our members are facing on a daily basis,” King said.
The union also warned travellers to expect further disruption into the summer as “endemic low pay” will likely cause an exodus of security staff, citing a recent survey that revealed one in three members plan to leave their jobs.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham added: “This dispute is bound to escalate with more workers being balloted and disruption set to continue throughout the summer.”