Workers will strike at Heathrow for four days in December “Firing and re-employment” plans That reduced the wages of long-serving employees, in an increasingly bitter dispute.

The Autism The union said the action by frontline employees would effectively close London’s main airport for periods leading up to Christmas, although Heathrow Airport said it would continue operating despite the strikes.

About 4,000 employees have been asked to sign new contracts, and some have cut salaries by about 20%, after the Corona virus reduced airport traffic to Part of normal levels.

Passenger numbers in October are down 82%, and November is set to be even lower due to current travel restrictions. Freight flights are also less than half the normal levels.

However, UNITE said the pay cuts, of up to £ 8,000, were not necessary given the large cash reserves at the airport and accused Heathrow Airport of speeding up employees to accept worse contracts or resign.

The strike, by the firefighters, engineers, operations, security and baggage clerks, will take place on December 1, when the new contracts come into effect, December 14 and December 17 and 18.

“The airport is using the Covid-19 pandemic as a smokescreen to permanently cut workers’ salaries,” said Wayne King, Unite Regional Coordination Officer.

“These decisions will transform Heathrow from one of the most successful airports in the world into a workplace of bullying and intimidation, it is a shame. In the midst of a global pandemic, no major factor should be forced into such major pay cuts by the employer who claims That he has billions in reserves. “

READ  CBI chief shoots parting over slow Brexit negotiations | Business

Subscribe to our daily Business Today mail or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at BusinessDesk

Heathrow said he tried to keep as many jobs open as possible, laying off about a third of managers, but needed to adapt urgently and a company spokesperson said: “It is very disappointing that UNITE decided to strike during the worst crisis to hit the aviation sector. We will now implement large-scale contingency plans that will keep the airport open and operating safely throughout this period. “

According to figures released Monday by Airports Council International, Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in Europe last year, dropped to 10th in September, registering half of the ridership of Antalya, Turkey’s third-largest airport.

The airport has it Pressure for a New Covid-19 Test System To enable more international flights, which the government has indicated might be allowed when travel is permitted after the current England lockdown restrictions expire on December 2.