350 ground handlers working for Menzies have gone on a 72-hour strike at Heathrow from today, the union Unite has announced.
The workers walked out from 4am on Friday in a dispute over salaries, as union leaders said the offer made by the ground handling company was “far below the current inflation rate of 14.2 per cent.”
“Menzies is a wealthy company and it can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase,” said Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham.
“It is greed not need which is preventing a fair pay offer being made.”
Menzies’ executive vice-president Miguel Gomez Sjunnesson said Unite continued to be “obstructive and push for unnecessary strike action rather than provide any realistic counter offers.”
He also reassured airlines and travellers that the company had “robust contingency plans in place,” while Heathrow urged customers to check their flight’s status.
The walkout is expected to cause significant disruption at the west London hub, impacting hundreds of passengers at terminals 2, 3 and 4.
Disruption will particularly affect international airlines such as American Airlines, Lufthansa and Qantas.
Passengers going to the World Cup aboard Qatar Airways flights will not be impacted as the Heathrow walkout planned by staff at airport services provider Dnata was called off.
Industrial action at Menzies’ cargo arm is also not going forward.