More than 1,400 Heathrow Airport security personnel have gone on strike demanding fair pay. In addition to British Airlines flights, the strike could also affect other airlines.
Heathrow airport security personnel will begin a 10-day strike on March 31st. These days, British Airlines is reducing its flight schedule by five percent. The airline cancels about 32 flights a day, in total, more than 300 flights will be canceled within 10 days.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham accused Heathrow airport workers of underpaying airport workers. At the same time, both the executive director and top managers receive significantly higher salaries. However, the management of Heathrow Airport believes that the pay of security personnel is fair. According to the union, Heathrow airport security staff receive £24,000 (€27,400) a year.
British Airways expressed regret that they had to make adjustments to the flight schedule. “We apologized to customers whose travel plans were affected and offered the option to rebook or receive a refund,” an airline spokesman said.
The union warned of possible long lines. “The strike will cause disruptions and delays at Heathrow Airport throughout the Easter period,” said Wayne King, Unite Regional Coordinator. The airport said they have a contingency plan in place to keep the airport open.
Among the striking security personnel are those responsible for screening cargo entering the airport. Airport personnel must be redeployed from other areas. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in queues.