The union representing security officers at London’s Heathrow Airport announced a new round of strikes this summer that could have a major impact on travel plans.
Over 2,000 members of the Unite union will strike for 31 days starting on Saturday, June 24 and ending on Aug. 27. The strike days are June 24 through 30; July 14 through 16, 21 through 24, and 28 through 31; and August 4 through 7, 11 through 14, 18 through 20, and 24 through 27.
Members planning to strike include security officers based at the airport’s Terminal Three, Terminal Five, and campus security officers, who are tasked with checking all personnel and vehicles going airside.
The union said that the walkout by workers at Terminal Three, in particular, will result in a large number of airlines facing the prospect of disruption, delays, and cancellations, including Virgin, Emirates, Qatar, United, American, and Delta. The walkouts at Terminal Five are expected to heavily impact British Airways.
Unite is pushing for higher pay for Heathrow security officers, which it says are paid less than workers at other major U.K. airports in London and the Southeast.
“Delays, disruption, and cancellations will be inevitable as a result of the strike action. But this dispute is completely of HAL’s own making,” Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said in a statement.
“The company has been given numerous opportunities to make an offer that meets our members’ expectations and so avoid another period of damaging strike action. Sadly, HAL has stubbornly refused to take this opportunity
When the strike was initially launched in late May, the airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow has prepared for the strike ahead of time and expects little-to-no impact from the strike.
“Passengers should not be concerned about strike action by Unite over the half-term getaway. The 15 days of strike action over the Easter peak and Coronation weekends have had no impact on the smooth running of the airport, and passengers have not noticed any difference from the normal great service they expect at Heathrow,” he said.