Threat to cargo operations from strike action at Heathrow

3 Comments13 May 2024

Threat to cargo operations from strike action at Heathrow

Aircraft refuelling handlers working for AFS at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) will initiate industrial action for 72 hours beginning on May 4.

50 staff that are part of the Unite trade union are due to strike for 72 hours. The industrial action could potentially affect large numbers of services into and out of the gateway, including significant numbers of passenger flights with bellyhold cargo capacity, if aircraft are not refuelled as normal.

Unite has said the industrial action is in response to the refuellers’ employer imposing “drastic cuts to the terms and conditions of new staff recruited since January 2024”.

This has had the effect of crating a ‘two-tier workforce’, it said.

Aviation refueller AFS is a joint venture made up of partners Air BP, Total, Q8 Air and Valero. It refuels 35 different airlines at LHR, including Air Canada, Air France, American Airlines, Delta, Emirates, Japan Airlines, KLM, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham declared: “AFS is behaving appallingly by attacking the T&Cs [terms and conditions] of new members of staff – those it views as the easiest to intimidate.

“But Unite will not stand for such bully-boy tactics and we will be backing our members in their fight for improved pensions and sick pay for all staff.”

By Mike Bryant
Source: AirCargo News