Heathrow airport, postal workers, Harrods stores… strikes follow each other in the UK

Ground workers at London’s Heathrow airport have started a three-day strike, while British postal workers have extended their protest until next year.

A three-day strike by ground workers at London’s Heathrow airport began on Friday, and a social movement among UK postal workers has meanwhile been extended until next year, potentially affecting the festive period. Strikes, mostly focused on wages but also on working conditions, follow each other in the UK in almost all sectors in a context of high inflation of more than 11%.

“Heathrow Airport is preparing for major disruption” from Friday after baggage handlers employed by service provider Menzies decided to go on strike, the Unite union said in a statement on Thursday. The move will lead to disruptions and delays which “will particularly affect flights departing from Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4” and the companies “Air Canada, American Airlines, Luthansa, Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian Airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus and Finnair”, details Unite.

However, a Heathrow spokesman contacted by AFP on Friday minimized the impact of the strike: “the airlines concerned have already taken measures to deal with (the strike), while flight cancellations are not expected.”

“Until 2023”

At the same time, postal workers have extended several planned strikes until 2023, which could affect the distribution of mail and packages during the important holiday season. Workers at the state-owned logistics company Post Office have decided to extend a strike until next year, according to a statement from the trade union CWU.

“The UK Post Office will see strikes this year extend into 2023 as workers battle dramatic real (inflation-adjusted) pay cuts,” the statement said. The CWU made the announcement on Thursday.

A Postal Service spokeswoman reached Friday said the company “notes the (ballot) results reported by the CWU. Our preferences remain in favor of a (wage) agreement with the CWU.” Workers at Royal Mail, a postal delivery company in decline and which recently announced thousands of redundancies, have also planned to extend a months-long strike.

Christmas shopping could also be disrupted by an announced strike by security guards at London’s famous Harrods luxury department store.

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