Socialist Worker

T5 bonus deal insult provokes more action

by Yolanda Williams
Issue No. 1985

On the picket line at Terminal 5 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

On the picket line at Terminal 5 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at Terminal 5 (T5) at Heathrow airport struck from Friday of last week to Tuesday of this week in their dispute over bonus pay.

The Laing O’Rourke workers are planning a new strike for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Workers intend to spread the action across other unions and to other companies. They aim to organise mass pickets for the strike days.

The strike at T5 has demonstrated the support of union members for fairness and parity over bonus payments.

Some 150 GMB and T&G union members were on the picket line at 6am in the wind and rain on Friday. Stewards were delighted with the overwhelming support from their members.

Other union members working on Friday have made it known they are uncomfortable about being at work while the parity over bonus payments is unresolved.

Laing O’Rourke workers have not had an increase in bonus payments for three years, which is currently £2.08. The unions put in a claim for £1 extra an hour, while the company offered 22p extra.

After the first round of strikes, which took place before Christmas, Laing O’Rourke offered 67p extra which the union wanted to put to the membership.

But the company refused to allow a workplace meeting and the strikes went ahead.

They have already been promised financial support with whiprounds being organised around T5.

Senior GMB steward Andy Baldwin said, “The only way to resolve this dispute is mass involvement with all workers within T5.”

He understands the need for rank and file stewards to meet up across unions and companies to win this important dispute.

Trevor Simpson, union steward at Select, spoke passionately about how this fight was about fairness and parity and the company’s inability to listen to workers and not to dictate to them.

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Article information

Sat 28 Jan 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1985
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