Heathrow Airport (LHR) in London, UK, is set to face a major disruption with Menzies’ ground handlers staging a three-day walkout over a wage dispute.

This strike by 350 of the UK’s Unite union members started at 4am local time on Friday 18 November. 

It is said to come after Menzies’ ‘derisory’ pay proposals.

According to the trade union, the offers made by Menzies are below the existing real inflation rate of 14.2% (RPI), and amount to a ‘substantial real terms pay cut’.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members at Menzies play a critical role in ensuring that aeroplanes operate safely at Heathrow. Menzies is a wealthy company that can fully afford to pay its workers a decent pay increase.

“It is greed, not need, which is preventing a fair pay offer from being made. Unite’s members at Menzies will receive the union’s comprehensive support.”

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The 72-hour strike will result in delays and cancellations for flights taking off from Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4.

Furthermore, the union said that the walkout would impact various carriers including Air Canada, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian Airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus and Finnair.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “The strike action will inevitably cause serious delays for passengers at Heathrow, but this dispute is entirely of Menzies’ own making. It has had every opportunity to make our members’ a fair pay offer, but it has stubbornly refused to do so.”

In September, United Airlines Holdings staff at Heathrow Airport opened a ballot on whether to take industrial action over wages, citing issues such as ‘outsourcing threats’ made by the carrier.

Refuelling workers at the airport were also planning a strike, though they cancelled it in July after securing an improved pay offer.