Baggage handlers at London’s Heathrow airport have called off a strike next week. The Menzies handling company made a higher wage offer and the baggage bearers accepted it. They have planned a strike that will start on Thursday and last until New Year’s Day.
The canceled strike was a small bright spot, but the UK is still reeling from other workers’ actions. The British Border Police, for example, have launched a strike that will last until Boxing Day. As a result, travelers at London Heathrow and Gatwick airports, and some other airports in Great Britain, may encounter long waiting times. A senior border police officer even suggested closing some airports.
But Heathrow Airport said on Friday that everything was operating normally and there were no delays or cancellations. Passport inspectors will strike again from December 28-31.
The PCS trade union warned that if these two strikes do not lead to an increase in wages, the situation could escalate next year. One of the striking passport inspectors stated that he and his colleagues were ready to continue the strike until a result was obtained. “If you can’t pay your bills and you’re racking up debt, what option do you have?”
Nursing staff, ambulance staff, train drivers and conductors will also strike in the UK in the near future. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insists it is important for the government not to allow wages of civil servants and parastatals to rise too quickly. But UK inflation has been very high for months and the public appears to be on the side of the strikers.
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