Heathrow refuellers call off May bank holiday strike

Emirates A380 landing at London's Heathrow Airport
Emirates A380 landing at London's Heathrow Airport (Image by Ryan Lim)

Refuellers employed by AFS at London Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL) have called off their planned strike over the coming bank holiday weekend after agreeing a new deal.

The action, called by the Unite Union, was a result of new employees being offered less pension benefits and sick leave creating a two-tier pay and conditions structure for staff doing the same job.

The staff had planned a 72-hour walkout which would have affected airlines including Virgin Atlantic and Emirates at the UK’s busiest airport.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is another victory for Unite in its campaign for members’ pay and conditions and workers at AFS should be congratulated for standing firm against their employer and winning these improved terms.” 

The pay and conditions deal will see new staff brought almost into line with existing staff in terms of pay and benefits.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall added:  “This is a good win for our members at AFS. They do a dangerous, dirty and skilled job and just wanted decent terms from their employer. Their determination is what led to this victory and shows the power of a union.” 

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