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Heathrow catering strike postponed whilst staff vote on a 14% pay rise

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The proposed catering strike at Heathrow, which would have meant no catering on British Airways flights on 4th March and 5th March, has been postponed.

100 HGV drivers at DO&CO, the firm used by British Airways for its catering out of London Heathrow, had voted for strike action.

The industrial dispute was over a number of issues. As well as the alleged refusal of the company to discuss a pay rise for staff, there were also issues over employment contracts and – interestingly – allegations over the treatment of the funds in the company pension scheme.

DO&CO catering

According to a statement published on the Unite website this morning:

“About 100 HGV drivers at premium aviation catering firm DO & CO at Heathrow will be voting on new pay deal that is worth just under 14 per cent overall, Unite the union said today (Thursday 3 March).

This means that the strikes due to have taken place tomorrow (Friday 4 March) and Saturday (5 March) over pay have been suspended while the drivers vote on the offer. The ballot is expected to be completed by Friday 11 March.

The pay offer means that the drivers, who joined DO & CO as part of the 2020 TUPE transfer process, will receive a six per cent increase on basic pay. Additionally, the base salary for other drivers will rise to £33,000-a-year thereby achieving parity for all drivers that amounts to just under a 14 per cent increase in pay from 1 April 2022.  The company has also recognised Unite for collective bargaining for the drivers and talks on recognition for the rest of the workforce continue.”

Whilst it is possible that the offer will be rejected and that further strikes will be called for late March, my feeling is that this offer appears acceptable – especially to those drivers who found themselves being paid less than colleagues who had transferred. It is worth noting, however, that the union statement makes no mention of progress over the alleged mismanagement of the pension scheme.

Comments (24)

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  • KP says:

    “ drivers at premium aviation catering firm DO & CO”

    If tastes and looks anything but premium if you go by what is served on BA!!

    • Rob says:

      Do&Co is by miles the world’s most premium airline catering group.

      • ken says:

        As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

        Surely no-one claming BA food is even close in quality to ME3, Singapore, Swiss, Cathay, Air France etc etc

      • KP says:

        Im sure it is. But not what is served by BA. Have you seen photos of meals on flyertalk? Im flying club on saturday and I’m going to take my own food on board

        • Rob says:

          I had a really good chicken pie coming back from Salzburg the other week, to be fair.

          • QwertyKnowsBest says:

            Chicken pie was good, had it both ways.

          • supergraeme says:

            Had that coming back from Tirana last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Andrew says:

      I suppose it’s like going to Waitrose and buying the ‘essential’ range or buying the ‘No.1’ range.

  • Sunguy says:

    £15.87/hr ….. not too bad when it comes down to it….. I remember when I was a student chucking bags and aircraft around the place for BAA and then circusair that we were paid significantly more than the catering HGV drivers (Alpha inflight) who were on minimum wage at the time ….

    Still – its still not a great wage …..

    • Waribai says:

      Chucking aircraft around? You must have been fit!

    • Alan says:

      A much better wage than nurses are offered. Seems pretty decent for driving a truck round LHR?

      Band 5

      <2 years' experience £25,655
      2-4 years £27,780
      4+ years £31,534

  • Sharka says:

    14% pay rises…inflation here we come

    • Harry Holden says:

      Inflation is already here. I’m looking at a 1-night stay in Glasgow in May and the cheapest J fare is £440. Cheapest Y is £219. First class on LNER is £170. Greta would be proud of me.

      • Jeff77 says:

        RPI is already 7.8%

        • AndyC says:

          …and forecast to increase to 10 p.c. by June…

          • Jeff77 says:

            Good for these workers then for negotiating a pay rise that doesn’t leave them worse off in real terms.

            Especially as essential items are increasing at a much faster rate than the headline rate of inflation

      • Erico1875 says:

        what about Lumo to Edinburgh?

      • Andrew. says:

        Did you try for a BA Holiday instead?

        Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve paid less for a domestic return by booking a weekend break but not using the hotel.

  • Nathan says:

    Flew club suite for the first time two weeks ago down to São Paulo and the food was awful.I am flying back to London tomorrow and seriously considering eating at the airport before flying.

  • Paul says:

    The Local Government employers have just given employees 1.75% backdated to April 2021. Their predictions for next year are in excess of 7%. In their statement to Local Authorities they stated
    The days of 1% or 2% pay deals are over……..quite right too. its shocking how little many people earn in local government, schools and other public bodies.

  • Josh Critchley says:

    All these companies that crowed to shareholders about resetting to market-based wages, and then paying themselves huge fat cat bonuses are about to discover the market works both ways.

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