Major disruption at Heathrow is on the cards during the hectic Christmas period

Wayne King, Unite

Heathrow workers are going to ballot to decide whether a strike will go ahead at the airport at Christmas time.

The Unite union said 4,000 of its members had rejected a holiday pay offer which they deemed unsatisfactory.

Unite official Wayne King said: “Instead of ‘making every journey better’, Heathrow is ‘making every worker poorer’ in its bullying bid to cheat staff out of their full holiday pay and cuts to long-standing terms and conditions.

“We are deeply disappointed that, despite many months of trying to settle this dispute, including at the conciliation service, Acas, Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) has flatly rejected several of the union’s reasonable proposals.

Heathrow Airport London Christmas strike vote

Heathrow Airport faces a Christmas strike as workers vote on the action

“With over 94 per cent voting to reject, our members have sent a very clear message that they will not be bullied into accepting a shoddy offer that leaves them out of pocket.

“We would urge HAL to get back around the table to reach a genuinely negotiated settlement on all of the issues.

“Otherwise, major disruption is on the cards during the hectic Christmas period.”

The Unite ballot will run from Wednesday September 27 to Wednesday October 18.

Heathrow Airport London Christmas strike vote

Heathrow Airport workers are considering strike action over a holiday pay dispute

A Heathrow spokesman said: “As a responsible employer, we are continuing discussions with Unite on how we can build on that success while delivering even better value and experience for our passengers.

“We are disappointed to hear that Unite is balloting their members who work at Heathrow for industrial action.

“We are hopeful that Heathrow colleagues will vote ‘no’ and that we will find a solution that works for everyone.”

The airport insists it will respond effectively should a Christmas strike occur.

Heathrow Airport London Christmas strike vote

Heathrow Airport: Members of the Unite union will go to ballot over the Christmas strike

A spokesman added: “Should industrial action take place, we have robust contingency plans in place which will ensure the airport continues to operate safely and minimise disruption to the airport’s operation.”

The vote comes as unions organise a strike for Thomas Cook staff this weekend.

Pilots will walk off the job tomorrow to protest against a 1.5 per cent increase they have been offered.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) says the increase is unacceptable.

Up to 44 flights are set to be affected, with London Stansted, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester Airports all involved.

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