Heathrow strikes at Menzies Cargo and dnata called off

Source: Heathrow Airports Limited

Please note, this story was published in November and relates to strike action due to take place on November 18

Heathrow cargo workers at Menzies and the overall dnata workforce will no longer take part in industrial action that started this morning, but the wider Menzies workforce represented by the union Unite will continue with the planned strike.

Unite said that the cargo workers at Menzies would no longer take part in 72-hours of industrial action that started at 4am today despite the overall strike going ahead.

“Strike action involving Menzies workers employed in its cargo and trucking sections has been suspended to allow the workers to be balloted on a significantly improved offer,” the union said.

Meanwhile, dnata has come to an agreement with its workers represented by Unite to avoid strike action.

Alex Doisneau, managing director, dnata UK, airport operations, said: “We are pleased to have reached agreement on this pay award, which reflects the huge respect we have for our employees in the UK.

“The agreed package, including both a pay increase and immediate support for the short term, provides concrete support for our employees amidst the current cost of living crisis. dnata is heavily invested in the UK and we look forward to continuing our journey with our employees as we focus our efforts on strengthening our leading position in the market.”

Overall Menzies strike continues

While the cargo workers at Menzies are no longer striking, 350 Menzies workers that are members of the union and work in other areas of the business began strike action at 4am this morning. 

The union said the dispute will lead to disruption, delays and cancellation for flights leaving Heathrow Terminals two, three and four.

“The strike action will particularly affect Air Canada, American Airlines, Luthansa, Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus and Finnair,” Unite said.

The union said that a pay offer from the handler was “far below” the current real inflation rate of 14.2% and amounts to a “substantial real-terms pay cut”.

In response, Miguel Gomez Sjunnesson, executive vice president Europe, Menzies Aviation, pointed out that talks were progressing with the GMB union that represent the majority of the handlers Heathrow workers.

“Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Unite who continue to be obstructive and push for unnecessary strike action rather than provide any realistic counter offers for consideration, which will benefit no one and only delay the process,” he said.

“We remain ready and willing to meet with Unite to hear their concerns and discuss the deal we have agreed with GMB in more detail, which we believe is in the best interest of our employees.

“I want to reassure our airline customers and their passengers that we have robust contingency plans in place should Unite elect to continue with unnecessary industrial action, and we are confident our operations will not be impacted.”

Heathrow handler strikes at dnata and Menzies set to go ahead

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]