WFS Heathrow cargo handlers consider new pay offer
05 / 05 / 2022
By Damian Brett
Source: Heathrow Airports Limited
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) Heathrow Airport cargo workers are considering a new offer from management following a dispute over pay.
Unite the union said that WFS cargo workers at Heathrow were weighing up the new pay offer after 84% voted to authorise strike action in ballot running from April 13 to April 27.
Strike action could be called if the offer is rejected, the union said.
Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: “Our members at WFS are currently balloting on a new offer from the management. This follows an 84% vote for strike action which led to further talks and this improved offer, the details of which are confidential. Our members are working normally.
“The ballot closes on Thursday 12 May and should the members reject the offer, a 72 hour strike will start at 07:00 on Friday 13 May. Unite won’t be commenting further until the ballot result is known.”
In an April press release, Unite alleged that WFS’ cargo workers were facing a pay freeze for the pay year starting January 2021 while competitors based at the airport were offering pay increases.
“Unite is calling on WFS to match the pay awards of competitors, such as dnata and Menzies, who had given pay rises for 2021 ranging from seven to 10% and/or £3,000 one-off payments in recognition of the galloping cost of living crisis engulfing UK households,” the union said.
Unite said that customers of WFS that could be affected by any strike action include Air China, American Airlines, Etihad, Singapore and Thai.
The tensions come as recruitment is emerging as one of the big challenges for the air cargo industry as the sector continues to recover from Covid and faces an increasingly competitive employment market.
Meanwhile, aviation companies that cater for the passenger market have come under huge financial pressure over the last couple of years as a result of Covid’s impact on the industry.