Starting on March 31, guards at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Five will go on strike for ten days over pay.
The Unite union says that more than 1,400 of its members at Heathrow will go on strike during the Easter school break.
People who work at T5, which British Airways use, and people who check cargo coming into the airport will take part in the action, which will end on Easter Sunday.
Heathrow says that plans for what to do if something goes wrong will be used to keep the airport open.
Heathrow said in a statement that travelers could be sure that the airport will be open and running, even though Unite has made unneeded threats to go on strike.
The company said it had proposed “a 10% pay raise that would beat inflation.”
But Unite says the offer doesn’t make up for years of pay cuts and freezes.
Sharon Graham, the head of the Unite union, says that workers at Heathrow Airport are paid “poverty wages” while “the CEO and senior managers enjoy huge salaries.”
More than 1,000 people who work at the Passport Office said they would go on strike for five weeks because they didn’t like their jobs, pay, or working conditions.
From April 3 to May 5, people who work for the Public and Commercial Services union in England, Scotland, and Wales will go on strike.
Those who work in Belfast will go on strike from April 7 to May 5.
Before summer, the union said that applications and the delivery of passports could be delayed because of the strike. They also said the strike was meant to cause much trouble.
Simon Calder, a travel expert, says that in busy months like April, the Passport Office can get up to 250,000 applications per week. So during the strike, more than a million applications could be sent.
People are worried their passports won’t be ready in time for their summer trips because of the strike.
The Home Office said it was disappointed that PCS decided to strike. However, it also said that the strike would keep its advice the same: it will still take up to 10 weeks to get a passport, and plans are being made to meet demand.
When the strike at Heathrow T5 happens on March 31, the airport may have to move resources from other places.
The airport says that the proposed wage is fair and that threatening to go on strike and ruin people’s hard-earned vacations will not make the deal better.
It said that Heathrow employees are paid at least the London Living Wage, and if its 10% offer is accepted, a security officer’s starting salary would be £27,754, plus shift pay and allowances.
Heathrow: Passport office employees embark on strike
Unions say that more than 1,000 Passport Office employees will go on strike for five weeks over jobs, pay, and working conditions.
From April 3 to May 5, people working for the Public and Commercial Services union in England, Scotland, and Wales will participate in the action.
From April 7 to May 5, people who work in Belfast will go on strike.
Before summer, the union warned that applications and the delivery of passports could be delayed.
The Home Office said that it was “disappointed” by the decision of the PCS.
A spokesperson also said, “We are working to manage the effects of strike action while ensuring we can continue providing essential services to the public. We have put in place detailed plans for what to do in case things don’t go as planned.”
More than 4,000 people work for the Passport Office in the UK. But, according to the union’s numbers, about one-quarter of those people will walk out.
The union says that the strike action is meant to cause a lot of trouble and involves more than 1,300 people working in departments that check passports.
There will be trouble at Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough, and Southport offices in England, Scotland, and Wales.
Simon Calder, a travel expert, says that the Passport Office can get up to 250,000 applications per week during busy times, like April, when the strike will happen.
He said that more than a million applications could be sent during the strike.
The Home Office says that the strike will stay the same as how long it takes to get a passport, which is still up to 10 weeks. However, plans are being made to meet demand.
According to an independent crowdsourcing website that relies on people entering their application wait times, the wait time for an adult’s first passport is just over 18 days, and the wait time for renewal is just over 14 days.
But when people heard about the strike, they worried their passports wouldn’t be ready in time for their summer trips.
Read Also: Pharrell Williams is LV’s next creative director
Mark Smith, who lives in Buckinghamshire, has cancer that will kill him soon. He says his trip to Australia at the end of this year will be his last chance to see his daughter and be there when his granddaughter is born. However, he thinks it’s now a “total crapshoot” whether he can go because his wife’s passport needs to be renewed.
Opinions expressed by California Gazette contributors are their own.