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Baggage Handlers at Heathrow Airport Go on Strike


Airport workers remove luggage from an aircraft at London Heathrow Airport on May 18, 2006 in London, England

Picture: Scott Barbour (Getty Photographs)

Whenever you fly, how a lot thought do you place into your baggage? The logistics of each single bag making it from level A to B to C, with out lacking flights or getting misplaced, are staggering. Positive, baggage handlers get the blame when your stuff is misplaced or broken, however do they get the credit score when all of it arrives intact and on time? Extra importantly, do they get their truthful pay?

Not in keeping with them, they don’t. So, for the subsequent three days, 350 baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport in London are putting for pay charges that higher sustain with inflation. The strike covers three full terminals, so be careful if you happen to’re flying American Airways, Air Canada, Austrian Airways, Air Portugal, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus, Finnair, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, or Qantas.

Suitcases are seen uncollected at Heathrow's Terminal Three baggage reclaim, west of London on July 8, 2022.

Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP (Getty Photographs)

The strike started early this morning, and can final via the weekend. Reasonably than putting in opposition to the airport straight, baggage handlers are going up in opposition to Menzies — a third-party operator, supplying Heathrow with labor. Two different labor suppliers on the airport, Dnata and Menzies Cargo, lately got here to pay agreements with their respective staff to be able to avert collective motion earlier than the World Cup weekend.

The strike comes on the tail of an extended, tough yr for Heathrow. The airport has been so stricken by points that it requested airways to cease promoting tickets just some months in the past. Because of poor administration early within the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been inundated with misplaced worldwide baggage — and now the very folks dealing with that baggage might be becoming a member of a picket line as a substitute.

Air journey isn’t any stranger to harsh working situations, lengthy hours, and low wages. Possibly, if Menzies acquiesces to its staff’ calls for for extra equitable pay, it’ll truly be capable of rent extra of us. I ponder what that may do for all that misplaced baggage.

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