Disruption expected at Heathrow after American Airlines engineers vote to strike

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Flight disruptions are expected at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) after American Airlines’ (A1G) (AAL) engineers voted in favor of strike action.

More than 50 aircraft maintenance technicians and crew chiefs, responsible for the aircraft that make 23 daily American Airlines’ (A1G) (AAL) LHR departures, have voted by 98% to strike over pay, said Unite the union, the UK and Ireland’s largest trade union.

The union said that despite a strong recovery post-pandemic with 2022 Q2 results showing that   it made record revenues of £11.8 billion ($13.17 billion), American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) is proposing a three-year wage drop for workers.

The airline proposed that technicians would receive 5.3% and crew chiefs 3.8% in the first year. 

In the second year, all workers would receive a lump sum cash payment, while a pay freeze would be implemented in the third year. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham finds the proposal “unacceptable”, with the union citing that the real rate of inflation, RPI, currently stands at 12.3%.

“Amid a cost-of-living emergency, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) is proposing that our members accept a three year pay cut. That is simply unacceptable.  As the strength of this vote shows, our members are rock solid and ready to strike for a fair deal,” Graham said in a statement.

Graham added: “American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) has boasted of its strong growth and post-pandemic rebound so let’s see that translate into a better deal for the workforce.”

If mediation is unsuccessful, dates for the strikes will be announced in the coming days.

Unite also added that union members working for United Airlines in LHR may also go on strike over pay, with a ballot for industrial action closing on October 11, 2022.  


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