Heathrow Express is set to be hit by further strike action from next week in a continuing dispute over job cuts and a pay freeze.
Members of the RMT union are set to walk out for two 24-hour periods over the bank holiday weekend in the ongoing dispute. Heathrow Express has vowed to keep running services despite the strike.
RMT members have been asked to stop work on the train service linking Heathrow and Paddington between 03.00 on Friday, May 23, and 02.59 on Saturday, May 24, and then between 03.00 on Monday, May 26, and 02.59 on Tuesday, May 27.
Heathrow Express has already been affected by a 48-hour strike at the end of April when RMT members took industrial action. The latest strike has been called after talks between the two sides broke down earlier this week.
RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said in a letter to members: “Your union representatives have continued to put pressure on management to withdraw their proposals to reorganise the workforce but there has been absolutely no movement in HEX’s (Heathrow Express) position.
“Indeed, the company has now taken the decision to withdraw their pay offer altogether. This further highlights management’s complete lack of willingness to enter into any meaningful discussions with the RMT’s negotiating team in order to resolve this dispute.”
Heathrow Express, which is owned by the airport, called the RMT’s move “misguided” and said it would run a “regular train service” during the planned strike.
Managing director, Keith Greenfield, managing director of Heathrow Express, said: “The RMT’s misguided decision to strike again is further proof of the union executive choosing to ignore the reality that Heathrow Express needs to save £6 million of cost over the next five years in order to secure its future and jobs for its people.
“The RMT executive burying its head in the sand does not alter the fact that we need to implement changes to secure our future. We would of course prefer to do this with agreement of the trade unions to ensure the best outcome for everyone, including RMT members.”