Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning that passengers at Heathrow airport whose baggage is lost, could see their possessions disappear into the void, as specialist baggage handlers prepare to take strike action over pay.

Lost baggage

The workers who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions Ltd are responsible for finding and repatriating lost baggage with distraught passengers.

The dispute is a result of the company refusing to make a pay offer for 2019 and only offering an increase of 32 pence an hour for 2020. The pay offer was unanimously rejected by Unite members but the company refused to negotiate.

Two strikes

Unite has called two four day strikes, the first will last from Sunday 2 February to Wednesday 5 February the second strike will be from 22 February to 25 February.

Unite is seeking an increase in pay to ensure all workers receive the London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour and senior handlers receive a higher payment.

Disappear forever

Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said: “Heathrow passengers need to be aware that if their baggage is mislaid, it could disappear forever while our members are on strike.

“Our members will no longer accept low pay and this dispute is completely a result of the refusal by Global Baggage Solutions to negotiate.

“Our members are taking strike action as a last resort as life is becoming a daily struggle to survive on poverty pay rates.

“There is still time for strike action to be avoided if Global Baggage Solutions is prepared to make a realistic pay offer and return to the negotiating table.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Heathrow freight and luggage services could be hit as Vanderlande cargo handlers dispute escalates

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.