Around 100 HGV drivers based at Heathrow aviation catering firm DO & CO have voted to strike in March in protest at pay and employment conditions, according to union Unite.
The union is warning that the action will cause major disruption to long haul BA flights, as food has to be on board for pilots and cabin crew as part of their employment contracts, raising the spectre of cancelled and delayed flights.
Unite said the strike, which 94% of members voted for, runs from 4am on Friday 4 March until midnight on Saturday 5 March.
The dispute centres around DO & CO’s latest pay offer - which the union says is unacceptable - and the company’s refusal to recognise Unite for collective bargaining purposes on behalf of all DO & CO Event and Airline Catering employees.
Unite has already reported the Vienna-based company, whose clients include top airlines such as BA and Cathay Pacific, to the Pensions Regulator over allegations that workers’ pensions are not being invested properly.
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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “There are far too many employers – and DO & CO is one of them – who have used the pandemic to attempt to salami slice our members’ pay and conditions.
“These HGV drivers at Heathrow have Unite’s full support in their strike action next month for decent pay and union recognition.
“This employer claims that ‘We treat our employees like family as this is a family run business’ and also says it is a premium caterer with high standards, despite paying their staff some of the lowest rates in the London region – the hypocrisy is breath-taking.”
Unite regional officer Shereen Higginson added: “Strike action will cause major disruption for BA and other airlines as pilots and cabin crew are required to have food on board as part of their contracts.
“The impact would be most severe on flights of more than six hours in duration – three hours to the destination and three back to the UK. No food on board equals no flights.”
Motor Transport’s request to DO & CO for comment has yet to receive a response.