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UK: Heathrow airport security staff vote on 10-day strike
The trade union representing the security staff at the United Kingdom’s Heathrow airport has voted to go on a 10-day strike. The strike would last from the end of March up to Easter Sunday, according to the union.
Trade union Unite said Friday last week that the security staff it represents in Heathrow airport have voted to go on a 10-day strike starting from March 31 to April 9. During the strike, 1,400 staff of the airport will stage a walkout. The vote by the security staff comes amidst surges of strikes by workers of key sectors across the UK.
“It is the airport’s workers who are fundamental to its success and they deserve a fair pay increase,” said Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham.
The union said that the airport’s proposal of a 10 percent pay increase was not enough to make up for the years of pay freezes and cuts. Heathrow airport has since issued a statement saying that it has contingency plans in place to keep the airport operational.
“Threatening to ruin people’s hard-earned holidays with strike action will not improve the deal,” said the spokesperson for the airport, adding that the union should return to negotiations instead of taking strike action.
On the same day, the British government and trade unions representing the country’s teachers agreed to enter “intensive” discussions to end the strikes of hundreds of thousands of teachers in the country who say that they are overburdened and underpaid. Teachers may be a step closer to ending the strike action they have taken that left several classrooms in government-funded schools for several days this year, pressuring Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to help in resolving the dispute.
The strikes by key sectors mark the worst wave of worker unrest in the UK since the 1980s, with workers striking over pay as inflation in the country has gotten to a 40-year high of over 10 percent.
The government and the teaching unions said the National Education Union would have a “period of calm” for two weeks where no new strikes would be announced. The agreement follows the deal made by the government and healthcare unions of a new offer of a five percent increase in pay for the coming financial year.