Bosses at the airport have slashed pay and plan to lay off over a thousand staff, taking advantage of Covid-19's impact on the economy.
PCS, which represents hundreds of members at Heathrow, is now balloting staff, recommending they “reject” the management threat to cut wages by 15% or face thousands of job losses.
On Wednesday last week Heathrow issued section 188 notices, allowing the employer to fire and re-hire some 4,700 employees, after months of negotiations with PCS, Unite and Prospect who all represent ground staff.
This could mean staff could be re-hired on “market rate” wages, leaving many £10,000 worse off and devastating many livelihoods.
The deal would also see band 3 and 4 staff lose recognised grade status, seeing both PCS and Prospect members in these grades unable to be part of collective bargaining going forward.
It is clear, despite all the evidence pointing to a short-term disruption in air travel due to Covid, that Heathrow management is trying to take advantage of the situation, to punish hard-working staff and maximise profits for shareholders.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It is shameful that these threats of pay cuts and job losses were leaked to the media.
“Heathrow bosses are trying to take advantage of the Covid situation and our members will not be intimidated by threats of redundancies and huge pay cuts.
“In order to reach agreement, the threat of redundancies must be taken off the table and unions and management will then be able to return to the negotiating table.”