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Stop Heathrow’s great British rip off and support striking Unite members

01 Dec 2020

Heathrow Airport Ltd, the company that owns one of the world’s busiest airports is trying to rip off thousands of their workers with a devious plan to let them go and hire them back on lower wages. Heathrow’s plans will mean up to 25% wage cuts for these workers – a major blow to the brave workers who have worked throughout the pandemic.

The airport firefighters, engineers, baggage operators and security staff who keep us safe are all standing up against Heathrow’s ‘fire and rehire’ plan for them by taking strike action for at least four days this month.

Heathrow think they can get away with this greedy wage snatch under the cover of the pandemic. They think we will all be too busy this Christmas to notice their big rip off.

So let’s show Heathrow’s greedy airport bosses that the whole world is watching – and we stand with the workers!

Take action

Show your support for the brave members of Unite the Union at Heathrow by jumping on social media right now to tell Heathrow that you won’t be travelling through their airport until they drop their shameful plans:

  • Twitter: Share your views on Heathrow and support for the workers by using the hashtags #StoptheWageCuts and #HeathrowStrike
  • Photo: Take a picture with a solidarity message or raising your fist to support the Heathrow workers and email it to (be sure to copy in so we can show the world where you stand!).
  • Video: Record your short message of support and send it via WhatsApp to +447904 057 360

What’s it all about?

Heathrow says they need to make the pay cuts, which are up to 25% of its workers’ wages, but Unite the Union knows the truth. Even despite the ongoing pandemic, regional flights are returning to Europe and airports are starting to recover.

Heathrow Airport Ltd. has large cash reserves extending past 12 months that they should be drawing on now before harming the people who make the airport run, many of whom have been loyal Heathrow employees for decades.

Unite's regional coordinating officer Wayne King said: "[Heathrow workers] are taking strike action as a last resort as cuts to up to a quarter of their pay are forcing them into poverty. To add insult to injury, Heathrow has sought to force through its fire and rehire proposals in the most brutal manner possible."

The workers have the full solidarity of the ITF’s global family of unions. We know that other companies will think they can get away with wage cut rip offs like this if we let Heathrow succeed.

The ITF will not allow the pandemic to be an excuse to slash wages anywhere, whilst making inequality even worse in a country like the United Kingdom.

Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez, ITF Civil Aviation Section Secretary, said: "Our affiliate, Unite the Union, emphasises that the employer, Heathrow Airport Ltd., is sitting on billions of pounds. Still, they are trying to force key workers to take such deep pay cuts amid a global pandemic. This course of action is unacceptable. The ITF stands with the Heathrow workers and we ask all ITF affiliated unions to express their support with striking Heathrow workers."