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Strike action at Heathrow this weekend called off after Menzies agrees generous pay deal

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The threatened strike action at Heathrow Airport this weekend by ground staff and refuelling staff employed by Menzies Aviation has been called off after the company agreed a pay deal.

The strike action would have had some impact on British Airways, since Menzies Aviation is responsible for refuelling at Heathrow.

The impact would have been greater on other airlines which use Menzies for services such as check-in and baggage handling. These included American, Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, China Airlines, Air Canada, Croatian, Eurowings, Icelandair, Finnair, Aer Lingus, Egyptair, Qantas and Loganair.

Menzies Heathrow strike postponed

Staff voted for strike action due to Menzies’ refusal to enter into negotiations for outstanding pay increases in 2020 and 2021.

Following the announcement of the strike action, the company made a proposal which has been accepted by staff:

  • Ground Handling: 7% pay rise backdated to 1 January 2022 with a further increase promised by May
  • Joint Venture refuelling workers: A lump sum payment of £3,000 and a 6% increase in basic pay backdated to 1 January 2022
  • BA Refuelling workers: A lump sum payment of £3,000 with a commitment to a further increase at the time of the annual pay round in October

This deals will set a marker for other pay rounds at Heathrow, which could lead to other threats of strike action as the year continues.

Comments (15)

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  • conspicuous-capybara says:

    Good news – congrats to the Menzies staff.

  • CarpalTravel says:

    2 February 08:37 — John T says:
    Meh, these strikes are always called off at the last minute. I can’t remember the last time they actually caused major travel disruption.

    Can’t fault the statement! Hope the staff are happy with the outcome, shoddy behaviour by Menzies management.

  • Paul says:

    Good for them, just remember the people who teach their kids got zero last September and the people who support their kids have not yet had their 1.75% offer from last April accepted.

    Hope their lump sums get paid before the hike in NI from April 1st.

    • Boon says:

      Why have those workers not gone on strike then, if they are so shockingly underpaid?

      • Paul says:

        Learning support assistant working 25 hours a week supporting the most vulnerable are paid £13,500 a year in the south east. Most have UC entitlement. A head of maths or science won’t be on more than £55,000 when at top of scale.
        If you feel these are well paid jobs then it’s no surprise that the standard of education is in the state it is.

    • Mike says:

      The people who teach their kids got to work from home and teach via Zoom for a good part of the last couple of years. The parents having to deal with children who now needed supervision from home rather than being in school. Whereas these guys had had mass redundancies and get to work in the rain and snow. I say this as someone who was married to a teacher and helped out in her school.

      • Paul says:

        They did not all work at home! The most vulnerable and children of essential staff were in school.
        They may not have been made redundant during covid, probably because they were made redundant in the decade of austerity before it kicked in. I spent 3 years doing that pre covid!
        If you want the next generation educated, or even just able to use a knife and fork, then you need to invest in education.

  • Aisak says:

    I’ve always wondered why BA (or even IAG) does not see a point in having its own Handling división like IB or Vueling and get business from 3rd parties Handling

    • Rhys says:

      Probably for exactly this reason – they don’t want to deal with yet more unionised staff

      • Paul says:

        No, it because it’s cheap. Handling by BA at outstations was contracted out more than a decade ago for just this reason. You don’t have the costs of employing or managing them or even staff travel. It was part of the rush to the bottom that has yet to stop

    • ChrisC says:

      If you use a 3rd party contractor you don’t have to give them staff benefits such as free / reduced cost flights, offer other perks or offer them access to your pension scheme. You also save overhead in areas such as HR and payroll processing.

      If BA did offer their services to other airlines they are the ones who would have the problem to solve if they lost such a contract in the future and had to make workers redundant for example.

  • Londonsteve says:

    So much for strikes and unions not achieving anything. From 0% to 6% and a £3000 lump sum in one fell swoop. All it took was the threat of a strike and like Paul Daniels in his prime, they pulled a rabbit out of a hat. Wouldn’t it be better if these employees were treated with the respect they deserve to begin with? Management might have got away with a 4.5% pay rise and no lump sum while pleading poverty, explaining that aviation is in a very bad way, etc etc.

  • Alan says:

    Good on them. Meanwhile I suspect NHS will be lucky to see 1-2%…

  • Rio says:

    Anything below 7% is a reduction in real terms

    • Max says:

      Anything below 50% is. Central Banks have been increasing money supply by more than 50% since the beginning of 2020.

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