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Bad news, people: staff at Heathrow could go on strike this summer

Union members are currently voting on whether to take strike action over a pandemic pay cut

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Between the hundreds of cancelled flights and hours-long delays at security, passport control and baggage reclaim, UK airports are currently a bit of a shitshow. And it could be about to get even worse: hundreds of staff at the country’s busiest airport could go on strike this summer.

British Airways’ check-in and ground staff at Heathrow airport begin voting on whether to take strike action today (June 7), with any disruption likely to hit the airport over the summer holiday period. The GMB union says that BA staff suffered a 10 percent pay cut during the pandemic, which, while being reinstated for the airline’s bosses, has not been restored to check-in and ground staff at Heathrow.

On top of that, the GMB says that the BA workers have suffered greater amounts of verbal and physical abuse from customers following the airline’s staff shortages and IT issues.

British Airways has already been at the centre of much of the UK’s aviation chaos. Alongside Tui and EasyJet, BA has been responsible for plenty of flight cancellations over the past couple of months – caused, in part, by making so many staff redundant during the pandemic. Before that the carrier also suffered from IT glitches that caused even more delays.

In any case, UK air travellers were already expecting a pretty tough summer – and it could be about to get a whole load more difficult. The results of the strike ballot are expected on June 23.

ICYMI: Why are the UK’s airports still such a stupid mess?

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