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

Support us and go ad-free

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.


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.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

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.

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop


The Canary Fund us
  • Show Comments
    1. It’s nice to see Unite doing something for some of its members. I suppose the thousands of Sainsburys counters staff facing redundancy, being offered reduced hours and bloody awful work patterns in lieu just aren’t as worthy or eye catching.
      Still, good luck and solidarity to the Heathrow workers.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.