Indications from a ballot of thousands of workers at Heathrow Airport on whether to accept a pay offer point to an “overwhelming rejection”, union leaders have said.
Around 4,000 members of Unite, including security guards, firefighters and engineers, have been voting on a revised pay deal, with the result expected later on Friday.
Planned strikes were suspended while the workers voted on the offer, but industrial action on dates throughout August remain, with Unite saying walkouts next Monday and Tuesday look likely to go ahead.
The union warned Heathrow against opting to pay millions of pounds in compensation to airlines for cancelled flights rather than settling the pay dispute.
Unite officer Wayne King said: “All the indications are pointing to an overwhelming rejection by our members of the revised offer which, in reality, offers little more than the £3.75 extra a day that the original offer did for many workers.
“If members do reject the pay offer and Heathrow bosses dig their heels in, then there is a risk the airport is seen to prefer paying millions in compensation to airlines and needlessly causing misery for the travelling public, instead of sorting the dispute by going the extra mile and giving its workforce a decent pay rise.
“Our low-paid members will sacrifice a day’s pay if they go on strike and are only too aware of the disruption it will cause.
“However, they are at a point where they have had enough with being given crumbs while shareholders pocket billions in dividends and the chief executive enjoys a pay rise of over 100%.”
Talks are expected to be held immediately after the ballot result is announced.
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?