Heathrow strikes called off after new deal over outsourcing jobs

A planned strike by hundreds of Heathrow workers has been called off (PA Wire)
A planned strike by hundreds of Heathrow workers has been called off (PA Wire)

Planned strikes by hundreds of workers at Heathrow Airport have been called off after a new offer was made in a bid to resolve a dispute over the outsourcing of jobs.

Around 800 members of Unite were due to walk out on Thursday until next Monday but the action will not now go ahead and the workers, including security guards and passenger assistance staff, will be balloted on the offer.

Two days of strikes had already been called off this week to allow for talks to take place.

Unite regional officer Wayne King said: “Talks have progressed well over the last two days and we will now be balloting our members on a new offer.

“As a goodwill gesture, we will be suspending the remaining strike action this week while our members are consulted.”

Previously Unite says the strike action "will inevitably cause widespread disruption across the airport, leading to delays and disruption".

The walkout was over the proposed outsourcing of a raft of services by 1 June in a "cost-cutting exercise".

Heathrow had estimated £40m of savings.

Unite had said in response: "This cost reduction will lead to a substantial reduction in the number of workers, which raises serious security concerns, given the safety critical nature of much of the work undertaken.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Unite has suspended more strike dates after we repeated our assurances that we have no further planned changes to operational teams.

“The changes announced earlier this year will continue as planned and those colleagues are being supported through the process, with a guaranteed job at Heathrow. While Unite has recommended its members accept these assurances and end the dispute, passengers can be assured we will keep schedules operating as normal if strikes were to return.”

At the end of last month aircraft refuellers also called off a planned walkout.

Members of Unite employed by AFS were due to walk out for 72 hours on May 4 after they accepted an offer over pay and conditions.