Unite has announced 41 strikes across a 23-day period, from 2-25 April, as its members at Heathrow Airport continue to battle the imposition of new contracts via “fire and rehire”.
Heathrow Airport Ltd., the principal central employer at the airport, dismissed its entire 4,000-strong workforce and re-engaged them on worse terms and conditions, leaving some workers facing substantial pay cuts. A Unite statement said: “Workers have experienced pay cuts of up to £8,000 (25 per cent of earnings) and report being forced to downsize, move to cheaper areas or give up their car, as a result.”
The workers have struck nine times so far, most recently on 12 March. They are employed in a variety of functions, including engineering, airside operations, landside operations, Heathrow’s fire and security services, and central terminal operations.
Unite said: “Targeted strike action will begin on Friday 2 April and there will be 41 strikes over a 23 day period, with the final strike scheduled for Sunday 25 April. […] Each sector will be taking seven days of strike action. During the strike period at least one of the sectors will be on strike on most days.”
Unite members at aerospace parts firm SPS Technologies in Leicester are also striking against a “fire and rehire” plan, which will see workers’ pay cut by up to £3,000. Workers struck on 12 and 19 March, with further strikes planned on 22 and 26 March. Unite said: “Our members are incandescent at SPS’s fire and rehire threats, particularly in light of their hard work keeping the company operational during the pandemic. It is shameful that SPS is using this terrible virus as an opportunity to attack its workers’ terms and conditions.”