Strikes that threatened to shut down Heathrow Airport this Friday and Saturday have been put on hold while Unite the union considers a new pay offer.
More than 4,000 workers, including security guards, engineers and those in passenger services, were due to strike over pay, over Friday and Saturday and on the 5, 6, 23 and 24 August – the peak school holiday season.
Unite said members needed to consider the new pay offer, which it refused to comment on. It warned that the August strikes “remained on the table” while the results of the ballot came in.
In a statement, Heathrow said: “We are pleased that Unite have decided to put our offer to our colleagues and to pause industrial action on 26 and 27 July.
“We welcome this outcome, as will thousands of passengers, whose holidays will now go to plan this weekend.
“The proposed deal provides significantly above inflation pay rises for all colleagues. We believe this offer is rewarding and importantly gives our colleagues long term wage certainty and job security.
“Passengers are advised to keep in touch with their airlines for the latest information on their flight and follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts for further updates.”
Unite threatened to grind the airport to a halt after workers backed strike action in eight separate strike ballots. Union members rejected an 18 month pay offer amounting to a 2.7 per cent rise.
Unite said this amounts to just £3.75 extra a day for the lowest paid workers involved in the dispute.
But Heathrow said 70 per cent of front line workers will receive at least a 4.6 per cent pay increase. The remaining 30 per cent will receive at least 3.2 per cent pay increase. Both will be over an 18-month period.
City A.M. understands the 2.7 per cent figure only applies to workers earning more than £60,000 a year.
Unite has also hit out at the pay package of Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye. Last year he received a 103.2 per cent pay increase. His basic remuneration package rose from £2.09 million in 2017 to £4.2 million in 2018.