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Union Suspends Proposed Heathrow Employee Strike

Image Source: Arabian Business

Refueling employees’ Union planned walkout at Heathrow Airport later this week, which would have caused delays for multiple planes, has been postponed.

From Thursday to Sunday, a total of 50 employees from Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) were scheduled to walk out in protest of their wages. A new pay offer, however, was now available after negotiations, the Unite union said on Wednesday. To vote on the new offer, members will now be balloted.

According to the union, discussions on Wednesday at the Acas agency for conflict resolution resulted in the new offer from AFS.

Kevin Hall, a regional Unite officer, said: “AFS was able to provide an offer that was more likely to satisfy the members’ needs, according to Unite, who has continually made this claim. An improved offer was made after receiving help from Acas. Virgin, United, KLM, and Air France would have been among the affected airlines.

Following a three-year pay freeze, the AFS workforce had rejected a 10% pay raise. Due in major part to a staffing deficit in the aviation sector, passengers have recently experienced delays and cancellations.

When the coronavirus pandemic was at its worst, airports and airlines slashed employees; now that demand for international travel has increased, they are finding it difficult to fill positions.

Heathrow Airport was forced to demand that airlines stop selling summer tickets and impose a daily passenger cap as a result.

AFS replied through a spokesperson: “AFS is happy to reaffirm Unite’s agreement to delay industrial action while a ballot of a revised offer is made. As a result, AFS at Heathrow Airport will run on its regular schedule in the next few days.

In the UK, many unions and employees are requesting salary hikes as prices are rising at their fastest rate in 40 years.

Numerous groups have recently gone on strike or voted in favor of industrial action, including train drivers, postal employees, Heathrow check-in staff, and railroad workers.

The rate of price growth, known as inflation, increased from 9.1 percent in May to 9.4 percent in the year that ended in June. It is expected to rise further in the months that follow.

In order to keep up with the rising cost of living, the government and the Bank of England have warned that pay increases may actually increase inflation. BP, Total Energies, Q8 Aviation, and Valero Energy are all participants in the joint venture known as AFS.

Flight Schedules have been Impacted by Union Activities

Recall that in July, Heathrow Airport issued a directive to airlines instructing them to cease selling summer tickets as the UK’s busiest airport tries to manage the uptick in air travel.

Over the busiest summer months, the airport will only allow 100,000 people to depart each day, which is 4,000 fewer than originally planned.

Read Also: Heathrow flight cancellations thwarts passengers travel plans

Beginning today and lasting through September 11th, a passenger cap will be in force. In recent weeks, disruptions, including last-minute cancellations, have impacted thousands of UK travelers.

When Covid lockdowns occurred, airports and airlines had to lay off workers. Now that the demand for vacations has increased, they are finding it difficult to hire new employees. The UK will soon enter a crucial summer vacation as the school year ends.

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