Workers at Heathrow vote on strike action that threatens ‘severe disruption’ to World Cup flights

By Lisa James
12/10/2022
Home » Workers at Heathrow vote on strike action that threatens ‘severe disruption’ to World Cup flights

Airport workers at Heathrow will begin voting today on strike action that threatens ‘severe disruption’ to people travelling to the World Cup in Qatar next month.

More than 700 ground handlers, transport and cargo staff will vote on whether to walk out just before the World Cup kicks off on 20 November.

The ballot will be carried out among contractors from Menzies and Dnata and if the strike goes ahead, the ‘majority of flights from Heathrow’s terminals 2, 3 and 4 would be severely disrupted’, the union Unite has warned.

Qatar Airways, which has scheduled 10 additional flights a week during the tournament, would be badly affected, but other airlines would also be hit, Unite said.

Regional Officer Kevin Hall said: “Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption and delays across Heathrow, especially for football supporters travelling to the World Cup.”

In a statement, Unite added: “Other leading airlines that will be hit heavily by potential strike action include Virgin, Singapore Airlines, Cathay-Pacific and Emirates.”

Balloting begins today and closes on 3 November.

A spokesperson for dnata said: “Despite the ballot, we continue to proactively engage with our employees to discuss the value and benefits of our offer and we remain entirely open to negotiations with Unite with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable agreement that will avoid industrial action.”

Meanwhile, planned strikes by more than 50 American Airlines aircraft maintenance technicians and crew chiefs at Heathrow have been called off after an improved offer was secured.

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