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Heathrow to cancel flights ahead of ground staff strike

Heathrow Airport is planning to cancel around 170 flights on Monday and Tuesday as ground staff stage a walkout following the rejection of a pay deal.

Members of the Unite union have voted to strike with 88% supporting the action which will be held by Engineers, Security Staff and Firefighters.

The airport expects around 2,500 staff to not work their shifts on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th August

Passengers have been advised to check with their airlines as to whether their flight is affected but as the industrial action is by airport not airline staff then it is unlikely passengers would receive any compensation.

According to Heathrow, the cancellations will affect 91 airlines using the airport.

A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said: “As part of our plans, we are working with airlines to proactively consolidate flights and rebook passengers onto alternative services in advance.

“We also advise passengers to contact their airlines for the latest information, as well as follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts for further updates.”

Talks are continuing this weekend between the airport and Unite via the governments Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Unite regional coordinating officer Wayne King said: “Heathrow faces a compensation bill in the region of £4.6 million from airlines if the planned strikes go ahead.

“Rather than provoking the disruption that strike action will cause, we would urge Heathrow Airport to use this money for an improved pay offer that better reflects the hard work of the workers who keep the airport running safely and smoothly.

“This latest vote for strike action points to growing anger among the airport’s workers in a whole range of vital jobs which are essential to the smooth and safe running of Heathrow. Airport bosses need to heed this latest strike vote and the overwhelming rejection by our members of the revised pay offer which offers little over and above the original offer of £3.75 extra a day for many workers.”

The action comes in the same month as potential strikes from British Airways Pilots after their latest pay offer was rejected and also comes at a time when Heathrow is preparing for its busiest time of year.

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