Heathrow Meeting!

Hello everyone 

We would like to invite you to a meeting to discuss plans for a local action group at Heathrow. 

When:- 7pm Thursday 16th September 2021

Where:- On Zoom

How:- If you would like to attend, email us @ heathrowworkers@protonmail.com and we will send you the Zoom link. 

What’s been happening?! 

Workers reliant on aviation, have been through a lot since the outbreak of the pandemic. Most have either been through a redundancy process, had their pay and conditions attacked, lost all their overtime, been on furlough or all of the above. Last year, high profile disputes broke out at British Airways (BA) and Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL). The main cause of the stand offs were the companies attempts to “fire and rehire” their staff. A practice employers have been deploying up and down the country and all over the globe. Workers would need to accept drastic cuts to their pay and conditions or be shown the door. These disputes at Heathrow ended much as those elsewhere, with the companies, more or less, getting their own way. Only BA Cargo workers, that went on strike for 9 days over the Christmas period and threatened more in January, managed get most of their demands met. The rest of the workers at BA and HAL have faced serious attacks on their terms and conditions as well as mass redundancies. However, these are just those workplaces under the spotlight. Thousands of workers in large and small, non-unionised companies, on and around the airport, have faced the same and worse. The pandemic has accelerated long-term downward trends in standards of living and working conditions. 

What shall we do about it?! 

We think we have to start locally, to build the confidence, trust and power to push back. Workers themselves need to lead the discussion about the future of their livelihoods and the planet. Are union’s, that even after the pandemic still enthusiastically support a 3rd runway, the best place for these conversations? Heathrow is full of workers on different contracts, in different unions, in different departments, in different companies, but in the exact same workplace. How can we break down these barriers that keep getting in the way when workers try to combine? How do we speak to workers in non-unionised workplaces? Our group could be a focal point for militant workers to get together, seek out and offer support to non-militants, discuss their situation, devise strategies best suited to them, and then act. 

We would like to discuss some modest and achievable objectives to get this ball rolling. 

  • A monthly collectively produced newsletter, with reports and articles discussing workers issues in and around the airport and linking to the wider national and international scene. 
  • A monthly leafleting and postering session, to reach out to workers that need support or want to get involved. 
  • A monthly meeting to discuss the groups business and direction.
  • Visits of support to local disputes, strikes and protests.
  • The maintenance of Facebook and Twitter accounts.

We started this project in late 2020 but Covid restrictions made it difficult to maintain momentum. We have a worker on the airport and a number of local supporters and contacts through solidarity network activity, but we are eager to get a more committed group established in the area. Come and discuss this with us. What do you think of the proposals above? What would you like to do? What would you like a local group to do? 

Look forward to seeing you. 

All the best 

Heathrow Workers Power

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