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Reports round-up: walkouts set to cause travel chaos at Heathrow

Strikes could be coming at Heathrow Airport, meanwhile car showroom workers score massive pay victory after threatening strikes
Issue 2857
Airport workers on strike standing in an airport holding two  unite union banners

Heathrow airport workers struck earlier in May, now more are set to join in the action

Some 600 security officers at Heathrow airport are set to join strikes already underway by 1,400 workers. The Unite union members at Terminal 3 voted 85 percent in favour of action.

Their colleagues at Terminal 5 finished seven days of strikes on Saturday of last week. Since 2017 the workers’ pay has fallen by 24 percent.

During the pandemic, airport bosses brutally fired workers and rehired them on worse pay and conditions.  The security officers are paid £5,000 to £6,000 less than those at other London airports.

Meanwhile chief executive John Holland-Kaye grabbed £1.5 million in 2021—an 88 percent increase from the year before. Strike dates are yet to be announced by the union.

  • Security and terminal operations workers are set to launch strikes at Edinburgh airport.

Around 275 Unite union members voted 85 percent in favour on a 75 percent turnout to take their dispute over pay to new heights.


Mercedes Benz cleaners

Cleaners threatening to strike was enough to score them a 25 percent pay rise at a Mercedes Benz showroom in north London. Members of the UVW union, workers outsourced to SBFM Limited, said they would strike unless bosses offered better pay.

Mercedes’ showroom bosses earn ten times the cleaners’ annual wage. Cleaner Maritza Bolívar, said, “Receiving that letter with the news of the pay increase was truly wonderful.

“To my colleagues in the other workplaces, continue the fight, do not give up.

“If we are able to achieve this win you can too. This fight is for everyone, and the achievements are for everyone.”

UVW members at eight other workplaces across London are planning to strike in a coordinated phase of action. Some 150 workers are primarily carers, cleaners and those who work in hospitality.

Some are fighting for better pay, while others plan to strike for sick pay and to end outsourcing.

  • The UVW is organising a party on 10 June to raise funds for the strike. Details will be released on uvwunion.org.uk

Drivers deliver a piping hot slice of resistance

Delivery riders and drivers for Deliveroo protested outside the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday of last week. Workers are hitting back at the poor pay and the desperate conditions they have to suffer to make enough money to live.

One of the riders that attended the protest said, “Conditions are deteriorating constantly, but my fees have never gone up since I started,” he said.

“Nobody’s satisfied with the job. It’s very hard work, it takes a lot out of you, and it’s hard to make a living. It’s very physical.

“It’s very stressful as well because you’re just constantly trying to work. Everyone’s pushing themselves at 1,000 miles an hour.”

Workers confronted Deliveroo bosses outside the meeting and caused disruption inside the event. They directed a large part of their rage at chief executive officer Will Shu who received a £600,000 salary last year.

He trousered this vast sum despite the company he co-founded posting a loss of £245.6 million for 2022. Outside workers chanted, “Shame on Shu” and “Deliveroo, you’re no good, pay your riders like you should.”


Cepac packaging bosses on attack

Workers at Cepac, a company that produces food packaging, are voting on whether to launch strikes over a rubbish pay offer. The 80 Unite union members will vote until Tuesday of next week on bosses’ 8 percent pay offer.

The bosses told workers that the increase is also dependant on a host of attacks. They want to increase the work week from 37 hours to 40, implement a worse sick pay scheme, reduce overtime rates and change shift patterns.


Leeds workers are pumped for action

Strikes are set to hit Leeds based pumping company Sulzer Pumps as workers reject a 6.5 percent pay offer and £275 one off payment.

Some 100 Unite union members have announced strike days beginning Friday of this week and continuing to Friday of next week and every Friday until 7 July.

The workers produce pumps for oil and water industries, and for nuclear power stations.


Stirring up rock solid Cornwall resistance

Workers at a building materials firm are set to put their bosses in a spin, as part of their battle for union recognition. HGV concrete mixer drivers at two Maen Karrne depots in Cornwell are set to strike from Tuesday of this week to Friday of next week.

They want Unite to be recognised and collective bargaining rights over pay and conditions.


Coca-Cola workers fizzing with fury

Europe’s biggest soft drinks plan will be short of fizz as workers ready themselves for strikes. Coca-Cola bosses offered a 6 percent increase, which fell flat with the Unite union members.

Workers at the Wakefield plant have planned 14 days of strikes starting on Thursday of next week until Thursday 22 June. They voted 87 percent for the action.


Strikers smash bosses’ pay lies

Glass manufacturing workers in Derbyshire struck back against greedy bosses on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

They are demanding they are paid the same as other workers at the company across Britain. Their GMB union said they were offered a pay rate of around £750 less than other workers.

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