Workers who are members of the Unite union voted overwhelmingly for industrial action, with 84 per cent in favour of the strike.
In addition to three socially distanced picket lines during the strike, a van will be touring Heathrow and the surrounding area adorned with the messages: “Heathrow’s super-rich shareholders are jetting off with workers’ wages”, “Heathrow Grinch CEO is stealing workers’ wages”, and “Stop Heathrow’s billionaire-backed wage cuts”.
The dispute has arisen over Heathrow’s “fire and rehire” policies, according to Unite, which it claims will result in workers suffering permanent pay cuts of up to £8,000 per annum – 25 per cent of their take home pay.
In response, the union has called on its members who are employed by Heathrow as firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, central terminal operations, landside and airside operations, to join today’s industrial action.
“Workers face losing their homes and surrendering their cars due to the savage cuts being imposed on them,” said Unite regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King.
“These cuts are all about greed and not need.
“HAL and John Holland Kaye are guilty of using the Covid pandemic as cover for forcing through long held plans to cut pay. If this was genuinely about the pandemic any cuts would have been temporary.
“Unite have tried to negotiate temporary pay cuts but Heathrow were simply not interested.”
He added that the strike was “taken as an absolutely last resort” by Unite’s members.
Heathrow has stated the airport will remain open and operating as usual throughout the strikes.