Ground Services

Heathrow and Luton airport workers set to strike over pay

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Hundreds of baggage handlers and check-in staff employed by GH London (formally Azzurra) at Heathrow and London Luton airports are set to start strike action later in April in two separate disputes over pay, their union Unite said on Friday (12 April).

Over 300 workers at Heathrow’s Terminals 2 and 4 are set to strike from 00:01h on Friday 26 April to 23:59h on Monday 29 April after members voted overwhelmingly by 99.2 per cent to take strike action on a turnout of 68.4 per cent. Workers are angry at a six-year pay freeze and seeking to secure a minimum pay rate of the London living wage.

Meanwhile over 120 GH London workers at Luton are planning to walk out at the same time in a one week stoppage from 18:00h on Friday 26 April to 17:59h on Friday 3 May. An earlier stoppage in March at Luton had been called off because of an improved pay offer, but the company has subsequently changed the structure of the deal angering the workforce.

Airlines handled by GH London in Heathrow Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 include: Air India, Thai Airlines, AlItalia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Gulf Air, Air Serbia, Air Mauritius, Bulgaria Air, TunisAir, Tarom and Air Malta.

At London Luton GH London provides ground-handling services to Wizz Air which serves mainly central and eastern Europe and operate around 42 routes from Luton.

Unite regional officer representing the workers at Heathrow, Kevin Hall said: “The overwhelming vote for strike action is proof that workers at Heathrow are fed up with year on year pay freezes.

“There is a lot of anger with more and more workers joining Unite to demand an end to this pay injustice.

“It is now time for GH London to recognise its workers’ contribution with a significant pay increase and a commitment to pay a minimum of the London living wage.”