dnata calls for further Heathrow talks with Unite the Union

dnata UK’s ground handling & cargo operations arm is calling on Unite the Union to respond to requests for further talks to prevent potential industrial action from taking place in London Heathrow.

The Union has ignored responses for further talks and is balloting its members for industrial action at London Heathrow despite dnata being the first ground services provider in the UK airport community to offer a pay rise to its staff in response to the cost-of-living crisis, with a 10% increase for all staff (14.7% for HGV Drivers) in December 2021.

dnata has recently offered an additional increase of 5.5% bringing the total increase to 15.5% (20.2% for HGV drivers), however this has not been accepted by Unite.

Alex Doisneau, Managing Director, dnata UK, Airport Operations (Ground Handling & Cargo), said: “We have talked and listened to Unite throughout this process and our minimum rise of 15.5% (20.2% for HGV drivers) is in line with inflation and among the best in the industry.

“It is extraordinary that Unite has now disengaged from discussions.

“The Union’s proposition is unrealistic and doesn’t reflect the challenging economic environment we find ourselves in as a business.

“Despite our sustained commitment to the UK and its communities, the impact of the pandemic, rapid inflation and other local market conditions mean that our UK Airport Operations business is now making a financial loss each month.

“The increase in salary suggested by Unite is irresponsible and would undoubtedly impact our business’s ability to operate in the best interest of our workforce in the long term.

“Our offer has been overwhelmingly accepted by other staff at the airport and we remain committed to reaching a meaningful and mutually acceptable agreement for all parties.

“We would like to reassure our customers, partners and passengers that we are implementing contingency plans to minimise any disruption to our operations in the event of any industrial action.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham was previously quoted as saying: “Both Dnata and Menzies can easily afford to make our members a fair pay offer and should do so. No matter how the employers present the offers on the table, they are substantial real-terms pay cuts and unacceptable to our members.

“Unite is dedicated to defending and enhancing our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and the workers at Heathrow will receive the union’s complete support.”