Heathrow Airport ground handlers have abandoned their New Year strike plans after accepting a negotiated pay increase
The threat of strikes by ground handlers at the airpòrt over the New Year has ended after workers accepted an improved pay offer from the management. More than 400 ground handlers employed by Menzies had a series of strikes planned between December 29 and the early hours of January 1.
The dispute involved workers operating from Heathrow terminals 2, 3, and 4. Unite members had previously rejected a 4% pay rise backdated to May and then a further 6.5% pay increase from January 1.
The staff had initially planned a 72-hour walkout on December 16, but plans were called off at the eleventh hour when an improved pay offer was put to a member ballot. This offer has now been accepted.
Under the newly accepted offer, workers will receive a 9.5% pay increase backdated to May 2022 and then a further 1% increase from January 2023.
“This is an excellent result for our members at Menzies. By taking a stand and acting in unity they have achieved a dramatically improved pay increase,” said General secretary Sharon Graham.
Graham added: “This is an excellent result for our members at Menzies. By taking a stand and acting in unity, they have achieved a dramatically improved pay increase. This victory further underlines how Unite’s relentless focus on the jobs, pay, and conditions of its members is paying direct financial dividends for workers.”
Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “Unite made it clear from the outset that we believed that Menzies could afford to make our members a fair offer and that proved to be the case.
“Unite will now be building on this dispute to continue to ensure that our members receive fair pay increases in the future.”
Philipp Joeinig, the CEO of Menzies Aviation, said: “I’m proud of our team at Heathrow Airport for going above and beyond over the past three days to provide a seamless service to our airline customers and their passengers during unnecessary strike action.
“We were well prepared and worked closely with key partners to ensure minimal impact to our operations.
“Unite’s claims of widespread disruption were nothing more than scaremongering. I urge them to stop being obstructive and enter into meaningful discussions instead of delaying the process when our employees need the pay increase now.”