Strike threat forces United Airlines climb down

Airline drops outsourcing plans as Unite wins cost of living pay boost

Reading time: 2 min

Airport operations workers employed by United Airlines at London Heathrow have secured a new pay deal which includes an improved pay offer and a commitment from the company to abandon outsourcing plans.

The workers had announced 4 days of strike action planned between 28th and 31st October after a 96% vote in favour of strikes.

But after a series of intensive negotiations the strike was averted and an agreement was reached for a cost of living increase on all elements of pay. The airline also agreed to continue with its commitment not to outsource work to third party organisations. United Airlines was threatening to end this long standing agreement.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The outstanding unity of our members in pledging to take industrial action followed by intensive negotiations has delivered a pay deal and a commitment of ‘no outsourcing’ which are real achievements. The workers are to be congratulated for standing firm.”

Unite represents almost 300 workers in operations, customer services and baggage handling.

Unite regional Officer Clare Keogh added, “The workers have achieved a good deal. A cost of living pay increase, no outsourcing and the harmonisation of shift pay.”

By Ciaran Naidoo