Heathrow strike: dates for May 2023 and how could travel be affected? | UK News

Heathrow security guards on the picket line

Workers at Heathrow will continue their sporadic strike days this month (Image: EPA)

Members of the Unite union work at Heathrow Airport is set to take further strike action this week in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Security officials are set to leave on eight dates in May as Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) union accuses them of remaining “tin-eared” after 10 days of industrial action over Easter.

Union officials aimed squarely at the Heathrow CEO, with Unite general secretary Sharon Graham saying: “Once again we have in John Holland-Kaye a CEO who finds it acceptable to increase his earnings by a staggering 88 per cent. from £800,000 to a staggering £1.5million while denying his own workers a decent raise.

The Unite boss went on to say that the dispute “will escalate” and raised the possibility that “more workers will be elected and disruptions will continue throughout the summer”.

Here’s everything we know so far.

When are the strikes at Heathrow in May?

Unite announced eight days of strikes in May.

Strike dates at Heathrow

They are as follows:

  • Thursday May 4th
  • Friday May 5th
  • Saturday May 6th
  • Tuesday May 9th
  • Wednesday May 10th
  • Thursday, May 25th
  • Friday May 26th
  • Saturday May 27th

International arrivals at Heathrow

A total of eight days of industrial action were planned in May (Image: EPA)

Why are Heathrow workers striking?

How In many other sectors, Unite is leading its members to strike over a dispute over wages and working conditions.

Wayne King, Unite Regional Coordination Officer, said: “Our members have made it clear that they are looking for a significant permanent pay rise.

“A small one-time lump sum payment is not going to alleviate the financial pressures our members face on a daily basis.

Members of the Unite union security staff on the picket line at Heathrow Airport

Unite officials aimed at Heathrow CEO in their criticism (Image: PA)

“While the CEO can enjoy the lavish lifestyle of a millionaire, our members struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table. This is about not having greed.’

The union also detailed what it described as a potential “exodus” of security workers due to “endemic low pay”, with a Unite poll claiming that one in three security workers is considering giving up their position.

Over 1,400 security officers will take part in the industrial action which the union said caused “significant disruption” and “resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights” during their strikes over Easter.

However, in a statement, HAL described service levels as “excellent” despite Unite’s previous industrial action, adding: “Our strong contingency plans have ensured the airport has been running smoothly throughout the strike period.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye added: “I am very proud of how colleagues have pulled together to ensure that passengers have a smooth start to their Easter holiday.

‘Our security team did an excellent job, supported by our entire management team who were ‘here to help’ at the terminals. Many passengers have told me that we exceeded their expectations.”

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Justin Scaccy

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