Strike at Heathrow Airport over Easter as passengers warned of ‘severe delays’ | Political news

More than 1,400 security guards will be on strike for 10 days from Friday, March 31, union Unite says. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 passport office staff in the UK will strike for five weeks in an escalation of a dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions.

Friday, March 17, 2023 6:27 PM, UK

Security guards at Heathrow Airport are going on strike over Easter over pay, warning passengers they will face “serious delays”.

The Unite union said flee with Heathrow airport will experience “severe delays and disruptions this Easter” as workers stage a 10-day strike.

More than 1,400 guards employed by Heathrow Airports Ltd (HAL), who are members of Unite, will strike after voting in favor of the union action.

The strike will begin on Friday, March 31, with the last day of the strike on Sunday, April 9 (Easter Sunday).

Security guards who work at Terminal Five are involved in the strike.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said the workers are “fundamental to [the airport’s] success” and they deserve a fair pay rise.

Read more: Who strikes when?

A spokesperson for Heathrow said passengers can rest assured that the airport has “contingency plans” that will “keep the airport open and operational despite unnecessary threats of strikes from Unite”.

“Threatening strikes to ruin people’s hard-earned vacations doesn’t make the deal any better,” they said.

“We want to do the right thing by our people and our passengers. Every day this pay rise is slowing down to reach Unite members’ pockets.”

Back in December, strike action by ground handlers at Heathrow was called off after an improved wage offer was made.

About 400 Unite union members who worked for Menzies, an airline company, planned to walk away for 72 hours until a higher wage offer came on the table.

Passport office employees go on strike for five weeks

Heathrow’s announcement comes after more than 1,000 UK passport office staff will strike for five weeks in an escalation of a dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union working at passport offices in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newport, Peterborough and Southport will leave from April 3 to May 5.

Those in Belfast will strike from April 7 to May 5.

The union said the action is a “significant escalation” in the long-running dispute, the union warned strike will have a “significant impact” on passport issuance as summer approaches.

Strike campaign continues ‘through the summer’

Members are asking for a 10% pay raise, job security, changes to their pensions and protected termination benefits.

But the government has said demands from civil servants would cost £2.4 billion and be unaffordable.

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Passport office staff are under increasing pressure following a “record number of applications” in 2022 after COVID restrictions were lifted in the UK and abroad, the Home Office said.

In total, 360,000 people had to wait longer than 10 weeks for their passport last year.

On February 1, about 100,000 civil servants went on strike

When asked about the new round of strikes, a Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister is “disappointed” that the action is continuing and that the government will do “everything we can” to mitigate the impact.

They added that there are no plans to change the official 10-week waiting period for passports, which was introduced in 2021, to accommodate a surge in demand following the pandemic.

On February 1, Passport Bureau staff joined about 100,000 officials represented by the PCS as part of a union action involving 124 government departments.

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Some 133,000 civil servants also took to the streets on Wednesday biggest strike day since this current wave started last year.

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