Despite industrial action at Heathrow threatening to cause major disruptions for airlines, passengers and connecting airports this week, Unite, the union which represents workers at Heathrow airport has suspended its plans for a strike “to allow further talks with ACAS this week”. Members of the labor union were intending to walk out at one-minute past minute for 48 hours, on 5 August, but at the last minute Unite released a press statement.
“Tomorrow’s (Monday 5 August) strike by Unite members working for Heathrow airport set to start at 00:01 has been suspended to allow for further talks at ACAS. Under the chairmanship of the conciliation service ACAS, tomorrow’s talks will involve senior directors from Heathrow airport and senior Unite officials with the aim of averting a second day of planned strike action set to start an 00:01 and finish as 23:59 on Tuesday 6 August.”
The airport has already had to cancel around 177 flights this week, according to The Guardian. But the airport is saying that the “vast majority” of passengers will still be able to fly, as plans are in place, if the strike action does take place.
Flybe, British Airways, Air Canada, Swiss, Lufthansa, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Aer Lingus are among the airlines that have confirmed their cancellations. Other airlines have not cancelled flights but moved them from Heathrow to Gatwick.
Unite’s members include security guards, firefighters, engineers and passenger service operators, which total around 4,000 members all of which voted to reject the airport’s revised pay deal. Heathrow stated that it’s pay offer was worth 7.3% over and two-and-a-half years and was a “fair deal”.