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July 6, 2022

Heathrow’s refuelling employees vote to strike over pay

Initially, the employees plan to perform a 72-hour walkout from 21 to 24 July.

Refuelling workers at Heathrow Airport in London, UK, have voted to go on strike later this month over wage disputes.

Employed by the Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) company, the workers said that they have not received a pay rise in three years, which has resulted in a 15.5% decrease in their income.

Initially, the employees plan to perform a 72-hour walkout from 21 to 24 July.

The voting was attended by 92% of Unite members at AFS, with 93% backing the strike.

A joint venture (JV) of Total Energies, BP, Q8 Aviation and Valero Energy, AFS offers fuelling services to more than 70 airline companies at Heathrow airport.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “AFS needs to offer its workers a decent pay rise. Oil and gas companies are making massive profits so AFS has the wherewithal to make a proper offer. AFS workers have sustained wage cuts for three years so it’s time AFS rewarded their sacrifices.

“Our members at AFS will receive Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved and workers receive a decent pay increase.”

The strike action will cause further disruption at the airport, which is already facing chaos over the summer due to staff shortages.

Furthermore, Heathrow recently faced a baggage system glitch that led to a massive backlog of luggage.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “Strike action will inevitably cause considerable disruption across Heathrow, but this strike is entirely of AFS’s own making. Unite has given the company every opportunity to make a decent pay offer and it has failed to do so.

“Even now strike action and the resulting disruption can be avoided if AFS returns to the negotiating table and makes an offer that meets our members’ expectations.”

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