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July 21, 2022

Refuelling staff call off strike at Heathrow airport

Conciliation service Acas facilitated the discussions, which resulted in the revised offer.

Refuelling workers at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) have withdrawn their three-day walkout plan after receiving an improved pay offer.

The Unite union will now ballot members on the revised offer.

Supposed to start on 21 July, this strike threatened more travel chaos at the already under-staffed airport amid the summer holiday rush.

Earlier this month, aircraft refuelling company Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) employees voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay.

Unite said that these employees had not received a pay hike in three years, resulting in a 15.5% decrease in their incomes during the period.

AFS recently offered a 10% raise, which was turned down by the members as it did not fulfil their requirements.

This strike was halted after AFS held talks with its staff, who are members of Unite and tabled a revised offer. Conciliation service Acas facilitated the discussions. 

The strike would have disrupted flights operated by Virgin Atlantic, United, Singapore, KLM, American, Emirates, Air France and Delta.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “Unite has consistently said that AFS was capable of making an offer more likely to meet members’ expectations. Following the assistance of Acas an improved offer was made.

“Members will now be given the time to consider and vote on the new offer.”

Last week, Heathrow capped its daily passenger volume to 100,000 until 11 September.

The move aims to ease passenger movement amid the rebound in the air transport sector with the relaxation of pandemic-induced-curbs.

Heathrow recently claimed that it had seen 40 years of traffic growth in the past four months alone.  

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