Len McCluskey slams disease of fire and rehire, as Heathrow Airport workers stage fresh strikes

The Canary

Thousands of workers at Heathrow Airport, including security staff and firefighters, are to stage a series of fresh strikes in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Action

Unite said 41 strikes will be held over a 23-day period from 2 to 23 April, involving different groups of workers. The union has accused Heathrow of planning to “fire and rehire” its entire workforce, cutting their pay and conditions.

Industrial action started last December and has continued this year.

Unite officer Wayne King said:

These strike days are avoidable, yet Heathrow is not listening. Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) railroaded these pay cuts through at a staggering speed, leaving thousands of workers on less pay just before Christmas.

But while Unite put forward clear proposals in February to resolve the dispute, the company has yet to give any kind of formal response.

Unite said the strikes will cause “considerable disruption” and will show the airport’s contingency plans are not fit for purpose. King added:

There is a fortnight before Unite’s spring strike offensive begins and HAL management could still resolve this dispute if it has the will to do so.

Fire and rehire

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:

Fire and rehire is ripping through our workplaces like a disease. Weak law lets bad bosses force through brutal changes to contracts, sometimes taking thousands of pounds off wages that families need to get by.

It’s a disgraceful practice that’s outlawed in much of Europe and should be here.

Unite is fighting for UK workers to be treated with the same decency. We won’t stop until the law is changed to protect working people from attack.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us