A couple of days ago I wrote about how the Heathrow ground staff were expected to go on strike on August 5 and 6. This was due to a pay dispute, where the union and airport management couldn’t come to an agreement.
Airlines were supposed to take drastic measures to deal with this. For example, some flights were supposed to be canceled, and Virgin Atlantic was going to reroute some flights from Heathrow to Gatwick.
On top of that, passengers traveling through Heathrow were supposed to check all bags, as they were only going to allow personal items through security. This was because they’d have a limited number of screeners available, so they wanted to minimize the amount of stuff being brought through the checkpoints.
Yesterday we learned that Monday’s strike was called off, just hours before it was due to start. This was probably frustrating for some passengers, since many people had already checked bags enroute to Heathrow.
The reason the strike was called off was because management and the union were going to continue their negotiations. There’s now further good news. The Heathrow strike has also been called off for Tuesday, August 6, 2019. So if you were scheduled to fly through Heathrow tomorrow, you’re in luck.
So, what’s going on? As the union explains it:
A strike by more than 4,000 workers at Heathrow due to start tomorrow (Tuesday 6 August) at 00:01 and finish at 23:59 has been suspended while the workforce votes on an improved pay offer, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 5 August).
Unite said it would not be revealing the details of the improved offer until its members involved in the ongoing pay dispute have had an opportunity to consider and vote on the new package.
However, Unite said that the strikes already announced for Friday 23 August and Saturday 24 August remained on the table until the result of the ballot was known.
Unite will not be commenting further until its members have considered the improved offer.
So strikes are still on the table for later this month, but right now we’re in the clear, which is great news.
Now we’ll have to see what happens with the British Airways pilot strike, which could also happen later this month.