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Heathrow baggage workers to strike over pay

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

Workers responsible for finding lost baggage at Heathrow airport are to stage two four-day strikes in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Unite union employed by Global Baggage Solutions will walk out from February 2 and again from February 22.

The union said the workers had not received a pay rise in 2019 and had rejected an offer of a 32p an hour increase this year.

Unite is seeking an increase in pay to ensure all workers receive the London living wage of £10.75 an hour and senior handlers receive a higher payment.

Regional officer Clare Keogh said: "Heathrow passengers need to be aware that if their baggage is mislaid, it could disappear forever while our members are on strike.

"Our members are taking strike action as a last resort as life is becoming a daily struggle to survive on poverty pay rates.

"There is still time for strike action to be avoided if Global Baggage Solutions is prepared to make a realistic pay offer and return to the negotiating table."

Meanwhile, Unite members at Heathrow ground handling firm Vanderlande Industries started voting on Friday on whether to strike in a separate dispute over a pay.

Unite said it represents around 80 Vanderlande workers who are responsible for loading freight on and off IAG planes, including those flying under the British Airways, Air Lingus and Iberia brands.

The ballot closes on February 14.