Date: 25.03.2021

Air Freight Update ; Potential Heathrow April strikes

Industrial action at London’ Heathrow Airport by workers in the engineering, fire service, security, terminal operations, airside and landside sectors, will run from from the 2nd to 25th April, with the union Unite predicting “a massive effect” on cargo handling operations.

The Heathrow staff will stage a series of strikes, in the long running dispute over pay and conditions, with a total of 41 strikes across the sectors, to be held from 2nd to 25th April.

Each sector will be taking seven days of strike action which, according to Unite, means that during the strike period at least one of the sectors will be on strike on most days.

The union has accused Heathrow of planning to “fire and rehire” its entire workforce, while the airport said the strikes “unnecessarily threaten further damage to the business” and said frontline colleagues had accepted a new pay offer “above the market rate and London Living wage. “

The aviation industry has been hit hard by coronavirus with passenger numbers at Heathrow slumping to their lowest level since 1966 and losses of over £2 billion since the start of the pandemic.

Unite confirmed that the planned industrial action would affect air cargo handling operations at the airport.

“Yes it will have a massive effect. The campus security guards are responsible for all transport going on and off the airport. So when they strike it has a massive effect.”

The dispute has already seen workers stage nine days of strike, the most recent on Friday, 12th March.

Earlier this year, Unite members employed in BA’s cargo division at London Heathrow reached a deal with management to settle a pay and conditions dispute, bringing strike action to an end.

We flex cargo volumes between our Heathrow and Birmingham airport operations, as well as other gateway and regional hubs, to take advantage of rate fluctuations and avoid congestion at UK and European airports.

With more direct flights, including daily Emirates 777s and A380’s into Birmingham Airport during ‘normal’ times, we are even better positioned to protect our customers from any adverse impacts during the continuing Heathrow dispute.

For further information on our air freight services and solutions please contact Grant Liddell or Elliot Carlile for immediate assistance. We will continue to monitor the situation and impact of the proposed strikes at Heathrow and keep you updated on a daily basis down to consignment booking level through the air freight team contact.