When are the Heathrow Airport strikes? May 2023 industrial action dates

  • london
  • May 23, 2023
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Members of the Unite union working at Heathrow Airport are set to take yet more strike action this week in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Security officers will walk out over eight days total in May 2023, as the union accuses Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) of remaining ‘tin-eared’, following on from ten days of industrial action over Easter.

Union officials previously took aim at the Heathrow CEO, with Unite general secretary Sharon Graham saying: ‘Yet again, we have a chief executive in John Holland-Kaye who thinks it is acceptable to boost his earnings by an eye-watering 88 per cent, from £800,000 to a staggering £1.5 million, while he denies his own workers a decent pay rise.’

The Unite boss went on to state the dispute ‘is bound to escalate’ and raised the possibility of ‘more workers being balloted and disruption set to continue throughout the summer.’

Here is everything we know so far.

When are the Heathrow strikes in May?

Unite scheduled eight days of strike action in May – five of which (May 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10) have already passed.

The next days are planned for towards the end of May – on May 25, 26 and 27.

Next Heathrow strike dates

The next Heathrow strike dates are:

  • Thursday, May 25
  • Friday, May 26
  • Saturday, May 27.

Keep in mind that strike dates can change at short notice, so it’s wise to check the union and airport website for the latest updates.

Why are Heathrow workers striking?

Like many other sectors, Unite is bringing more than 1,400 security officer members out on strike in a dispute over pay and conditions. 

Wayne King, Unite regional co-ordinating officer, previously said in April: ‘Our members have been crystal clear they are seeking a substantial permanent increase in pay. 

‘A small one-off lump sum payment will not alleviate the financial pressures our members are facing on a daily basis.

‘While the CEO can enjoy a lavish millionaire’s lifestyle, our members struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table.

‘This is about need not greed.’

Unite also detailed what it described as a potential ‘exodus’ of security staff due to ‘endemic low pay’ – with their survey claiming one in three security staff were considering leaving their role.

It has also claimed that Heathrow security staff are paid less than those at other ‘major London airports’.

Discussing the upcoming action starting May 25, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said, according to The Independent: ‘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.’

The CEO also called the strikes ‘unnecessary’ and claimed that many staff ‘want to vote on our pay offer’.

For information on how the strike might impact travellers, visit the strike page on Heathrow’s official website.

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