Socialist Worker

Heathrow in new walkout

Issue No. 1877

AROUND 1,000 TGWU members at Swissport UK and Cargo were set to hold their second 48-hour strike on Friday and Saturday.

The workers, based at Heathrow airport, staged their first 48-hour strike on Sunday 2 November.

They are fighting for a pay rise they have been waiting 18 months for. The workforce have also been provoked to walk out by anger at their increasing workload and a lack of respect from management.

Swissport bosses have told the press the union wants a huge pay rise the company cannot afford to pay. But the workers say they only want a couple of percent above the rate of inflation. And the company made profits of £46 million last year.

Large numbers of striking Swissport workers took to the picket lines two weeks ago, showing a spirit of determination and militancy.

And they won a lot of support from other workers around the airport. Wooden pallets for braziers as well as coffee and bacon rolls were delivered to the picket lines in gestures of solidarity.

The Swissport strike comes a few months after a few hundred mainly women check-in workers staged an unofficial walkout that crippled British Airways operations at Heathrow and beyond.

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Article information

Sat 15 Nov 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1877
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