Socialist Worker

Fighting for jobs and pay at Heathrow and Rolls-Royce

Issue No. 2731

On the picket line at Barnoldswick where 350 jobs are under threat

On the picket line at Barnoldswick where 350 jobs are under threat (Pic: Unite North West on Twitter)

Workers at Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) are set to strike in a dispute over plans to fire and rehire its 4,000 workers on vastly reduced pay.

The first 24-hour strike is planned for Tuesday 1 December, with a further one-day stoppage on Monday 14 December.

A 48-hour stoppage is scheduled for Thursday 17 and Friday 18 December.

The strike by members of the Unite union would involve firefighters, engineers, campus security, baggage operations, operational and airside workers and could close the airport.

HAL workers recorded an 85 percent vote in favour of strikes.

Heathrow bosses have repeatedly boasted that the company has cash reserves to survive for 15 months even if a single plane does not land at the airport. But they want workers to accept permanent pay cuts of up to £8,000 a year.

Workers are being called to one-to-one meetings over the fire and hire proposals. At the meeting workers are given options to accept the new contract or to leave.

HAL has unilaterally told the 4,000 strong workforce that they will have just 24 hours to make a decision.

Workers are also being told that if they try to utilise their legal right to sign a new contract under protest it will be classed as a refusal and the worker will lose their job.

Unite regional coordinating officer Wayne King said, “Workers are striking as a direct result of Heathrow airport’s brutal proposals to fire and rehire them on greatly reduced wages.

 “The airport is using the Covid-19 pandemic as a smokescreen to permanently cut workers’ pay.”

There must be no concessions to such an agenda. The strikes must continue until victory.

Rolls-Royce fight escalates

Rolls-Royce workers in Barnoldswick are battling on against bosses’ plans to slash 350 jobs at the Lancashire factory.

Unite union members at the aeroplane engine factory announced that they will strike until Christmas Eve.

They began a programme of industrial action on 6 November, originally due to end on 27 November.

Unite regional officer Ross Quinn, said, “Rolls‑Royce is behaving appallingly and should hang its head in shame.

“The striking workers have the full support of their community and will not rest until Rolls-Royce reverses these damaging plans.”

Sections of workers at the plant are striking each day.

Every trade unionist should support the fight in Barnoldswick.

Messages of support to [email protected]


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.