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Published on Friday, July 27, 2018

Union slams Heathrow operator for paying 'poverty' wages while revenues soar

The operator of Heathrow Airport has come under fire from the GMB for paying 'poverty' wages to staff despite dishing out 'obscene' dividends to shareholders.

The union is calling on Heathrow Airport Holdings to make sure all direct and contracted staff are being paid the London Living Wage of £10.20 per hour, following the release of recent dividend figures.

"It is an utter disgrace that Heathrow Holdings Ltd have paid out obscene dividends of up to £228 million to its shareholders whilst workers at the airport are still being paid poverty wages," said Perry Phillips, GMB regional officer for aviation at Heathrow.

"Terms and conditions of employment have worsened for many workers at the airport over the past 10 years as a result of the 'race to the bottom' culture, low bidding tendering process that results in no room for wage increases.

"Heathrow terminal cleaners, aircraft cleaners and security workers have suffered low pay misery for many years as a result of the lack of ethical governance from Heathrow Ltd when it comes to giving contracts out at the airport.

"GMB Union London Region on behalf of low paid Heathrow workers are now saying 'enough is enough' if you can pay £228 million to shareholders and your revenue has risen to £1.4 billion, you can implement the London Living Wage now."

It said contracted staff, such as those from Omniserv, OCS, ISS who deliver services such as wheel chair assistance and terminal and aircraft cleaning, have failed to see any wage increase for over three years or any information on when the transition to the London Living Wage will take place.

A spokesman for Heathrow said: "In November, we announced that Heathrow had been unveiled by the Living Wage Foundation as a fully accredited Living Wage Employer and the first airport to be accredited in Britain to do so.

"All of Heathrow's direct employees are paid the living wage. We have also committed to requiring all companies bidding for Heathrow commercial and supply chain contracts to disclose if they are Living Wage accredited as part of any tender process."

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  • GMB stands for...

    General Municiapl and Boilermakers Union - although GMB keep rather quiet about this. Clearly they know all about the steam boilers used in modern aircraft and are thus amply qualified to comment on the way in which airports are run.

    By Richard English, Friday, July 27, 2018

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