Published on Monday, January 20, 2020

Heathrow baggage handlers plan February strikes

The Unite union is calling for two four-day strikes by its baggage handler members at Heathrow next month in a row over pay.

The dispute is a result of the company refusing to make a pay offer to employees of Global Baggage Solutions Ltd for 2019 and offering an increase of 32p an hour for 2020.

The pay offer was unanimously rejected by Unite members working but the company refused to negotiate.

Unite is seeking an increase in pay to ensure all workers receive the London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour and senior handlers receive a higher payment.

The four-day strikes are planned for Sunday February 2-Wednesday February 4 and Sunday February 22-Wednesday February 25.

Unite says passengers at Heathrow whose baggage is lost could 'see their possessions disappear into the void', as specialist baggage handlers are responsible for finding and repatriating lost baggage with distraught passengers.

Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said: "Heathrow passengers need to be aware that if their baggage is mislaid, it could disappear forever while our members are on strike.

"Our members will no longer accept low pay and this dispute is completely a result of the refusal by Global Baggage Solutions to negotiate.

"Our members are taking strike action as a last resort as life is becoming a daily struggle to survive on poverty pay rates.

"There is still time for strike action to be avoided if Global Baggage Solutions is prepared to make a realistic pay offer and return to the negotiating table."

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