Heathrow workers ‘overwhelmingly reject’ pay offer

Indications from a ballot of thousands of workers at Heathrow Airport on whether to accept a pay offer point to an “overwhelming rejection”, union leaders have said.

Around 4,000 members of Unite, including security guards, firefighters and engineers, have been voting on a revised pay deal, with the result expected later on Friday.

Planned strikes were suspended while the workers voted on the offer, but industrial action on dates throughout August remain, with Unite saying walkouts next Monday and Tuesday look likely to go ahead.

The union warned Heathrow against opting to pay millions of pounds in compensation to airlines for cancelled flights rather than settling the pay dispute.

Unite officer Wayne King said: “All the indications are pointing to an overwhelming rejection by our members of the revised offer which, in reality, offers little more than the £3.75 extra a day that the original offer did for many workers.

“If members do reject the pay offer and Heathrow bosses dig their heels in, then there is a risk the airport is seen to prefer paying millions in compensation to airlines and needlessly causing misery for the travelling public, instead of sorting the dispute by going the extra mile and giving its workforce a decent pay rise.

“Our low-paid members will sacrifice a day’s pay if they go on strike and are only too aware of the disruption it will cause.

“However, they are at a point where they have had enough with being given crumbs while shareholders pocket billions in dividends and the chief executive enjoys a pay rise of over 100%.”

Talks are expected to be held immediately after the ballot result is announced.

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