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Heathrow Airport strikes in October 2023: dates, disruption and everything you need to know

Walkouts by baggage handlers are set to cause travel chaos over October half term

Chiara Wilkinson
Amy Houghton
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson
Amy Houghton

Holidaymakers, we’ve got bad news. Baggage handling staff at Heathrow (the UK’s biggest and busiest airport) have announced that they’ll be going on strike for 13 days in October. The strike will coincide with October half term (October 23-27) – here’s everything you need to know about the strikes, from the dates they are taking place to the expected amount of disruption.

When are the Heathrow strikes meant to take place? 

Workers are set to strike for two periods. The first walkout will be from 5:30pm on October 6 to 6am on October 9. Then second strike will take place for ten straight days from October 20 (October 20-29)

Who is going on strike at Heathrow Airport?

Around 170 baggage handling staff who work in the maintenance and servicing of baggage carousels will go on strike. The striking workers are members of the Unite union.

What airlines are affected?

The scale of the potential disruption at Heathrow hasn’t yet been quantified. The airport is apparently taking precautionary measures to ensure passenger services are not impacted. 

Why are baggage handling workers striking?

The workers are striking as part of an ongoing pay dispute. 

What’s been said about the strikes? 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Workers at Heathrow Airport employed by Vanderlande do a safety and security critical role that passengers depend on. The fact that their employer refuses to recognise this, as shown by their pitiful pay offer, speaks volumes.

‘Our members will have the full support of their union as they head to the picket line in their fight for a fair pay rise.’

These are all the strikes at European airports you need to watch out for right now.

How to get around London during the train and tube strikes.

Here’s the full list of high street stores closing in 2023.

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