dnata calls for talks to prevent possible strikes at Heathrow
Ground handling agent dnata UK has called on one of the unions representing its workers at Britain’s Heathrow airport to take part in talks to avert a possible strike.
Dnata said the Unite union has ignored requests for additional talks because it members’ ballots for industrial action at Heathrow.
The manager said the ballot comes despite the offer of a 10 per cent raise for all staff (14.7 per cent for truck drivers) in December 2021.
The company added: “dnata recently proposed an additional 5.5% increase bringing the total increase to 15.5% (20.2% for HGV drivers), but this was not accepted by Unite. »
Alex Doisneau, Managing Director, dnata UK, Airport Operations, Ground Handling and Cargosaid: “It is extraordinary that Unite has now disengaged from discussions.
“The union’s proposal is unrealistic and does not reflect the difficult economic environment in which we find ourselves as a company.
“Despite our continued commitment to the UK and its communities, the impact of the pandemic, rapid inflation and other local market conditions mean that our UK airport operations business is now recording a loss. financial each month.
“The pay increase suggested by Unite is irresponsible and would undoubtedly impact the ability of our business to operate in the best interests of our workforce over the long term.
“Our offer has been overwhelmingly accepted by other airport staff and we remain committed to reaching a meaningful and mutually acceptable agreement for all parties.
“We would like to reassure our customers, partners and passengers that we are implementing contingency plans to minimize any disruption to our operations in the event of an industrial action.”
Earlier this month, Unite said 700 dnata and Menzies workers would take part in the poll which will run from October 12 to November 3 on a possible strike.
If the strike is approved, it should begin in mid-November.
The workers are contract employees for the majority of airlines that operate from Heathrow’s terminals two, three and four.
They take on a variety of roles, including ground handling, airside transportation, and cargo.
The union said the wage offers workers have received are below the rate of inflation as both companies made a profit last year.
When announcing the ballot, the union claimed that dnata had offered its workers a 5% raise, while offers for Menzies workers vary between 2 and 6%.
“All offers are well below the actual rate of inflation (RPI), which currently stands at 12.3%,” Unite said.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “Dnata and Menzies can easily afford to make a fair wage offer to our members and should. No matter how employers put the offers on the table, these are substantial wage cuts in real terms and unacceptable to our members.
“Unite is dedicated to defending and improving the jobs, wages and conditions of our members and Heathrow workers will receive the union’s full support.”
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