The walkout will affect more than 2,000 security officers and is expected to cause major disruption, as for the first time workers based at Terminal 3 will join their colleagues from Terminal 5 and campus security.
Many people looking forward to a much-needed holiday – and those travelling on business – will be wondering what effect the strikes will have on their trip.
Here’s what you need to know.
When are the Heathrow strikes?
Security staff are walking out on 31 dates from Saturday, June 24 to Sunday August 27 inclusive.
All the dates include weekends.
All the days when the security officers at Heathrow will be on strike in summer 2023
Most strike dates encompass whole weekends across the summer months:
- Saturday, June 24 to Sunday, June 25 (two days)
- Wednesday, June 28 to Friday, June 30 (three days)
- Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16 (three days)
- Friday, July 21 to Monday, July 24 (four days)
- Friday, July 28 to Monday, July 31 (four days)
- Friday, August 4 to Monday, August 7 (four days)
- Friday, August 11 to Monday, August 14 (four days)
- Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 20 (three days)
- Thursday, August 24 to Sunday, August 27 (four days)
These dates include Eid festival (28, 29 and 30 June), the start of the school holidays (21, 22, 23 and 24 July) and the August bank holiday (24, 25, 26 and 27 August).
What is the likely impact?
Eid al-Adha falls on 28, 29 and 30 June, while the state school holidays begin on the weekend of the 21 July, and the late summer bank holiday is on Monday, August 28.
During the last Heathrow strike in May, around 1,400 members of the Unite union walked out, among them security officers working for British Airways – who exclusively use Terminal Five – and those who are responsible for checking all of the cargo which arrives at the airport.
Heathrow brought in 1,000 extra staff to try and minimise disruption, and issued this advice to passengers at the time:
- Check your flight details and status with your airline before travelling to the airport
- Arrive no earlier than two hours before short haul flights, and three hours for long haul
- Make sure your hand luggage is security ready – liquids in a separate, sealed see-through bag (max. size 100ml), remove large electricals and place in a separate tray
Why are security staff striking?
The Unite union is demanding a ‘fair pay offer’.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Heathrow has got its priorities all wrong. This is an incredibly wealthy company, which this summer is anticipating bumper profits and an executive pay bonanza.’
This escalation in strike action comes after workers rejected a below inflation pay offer of 10.1%, and Unite stressed that since 2017, their average remuneration has dropped by 24% in real terms.
Heathrow security officers are also paid less than those at other major airports in London and the South East, earning earning between £5,000 and £6,000 less than their counterparts at Stansted and Gatwick annually.
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