Heathrow airport strike suspended after fresh offer say Unite

Aviation Fuel Services - Jaromir Chalabala/shutterstock.com

The Heathrow airport strike due to begin tomorrow Thursday, July 21 has been suspended after Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) revised its offer.

Unite the union involved in the strike, said that a revised pay offer had been received and that the strike would be suspended to allow members to be balloted on the new offer.

The revised offer comes following negotiations held at the conciliation service ACAS earlier today, Wednesday, July 20. According to Unite a substantially improved offer was made and as a consequence, the strike was suspended.

Unite Regional Officer Kevin Hall said on their website: “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.”

The strike was originally called by workers employed at Aviation Fuel Services (AFS), which is responsible for refuelling half of the non-British Airways traffic at Heathrow airport affecting many airlines including Virgin Atlantic, United, Singapore, KLM, American, Emirates, Air France and Delta.

A three-day strike was called with Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham saying at the time: “AFS is wholly owned by incredibly wealthy energy companies who are entirely able to provide our members with a decent pay increase. This is yet another example of energy companies boosting profits at the expense of workers.

“Unite will be providing its members at AFS with its unstinting support until the company makes a pay offer which meets members’ expectations and this dispute is resolved.”

According to Unite the workers have not received an increase for three years, during which time they have seen their incomes fall by 15.5 per cent in real terms. AFS had belatedly made an offer of a 10 per cent increase but this was rejected by members as it did not meet their expectations.

AFS is a joint venture operation whose partners include BP, Total Energies, Q8 Aviation and Valero Energy. Energy companies have seen their profits surge in recent months, which in turn has increased inflation and worsened the cost of living crisis.

With Unite balloting members it would suggest that offer is substantially better but not enough for them to call off the strike without balloting members. In the meantime, the Heathrow airport strike has been suspended.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.