More than 90 firefighters and fire and rescue staff at Heathrow have become the latest group of workers to vote to strike.
The vote means they will join over 4,000 workers in the second and third two-day strikes planned for August 5-6 and the bank holiday Friday and Saturday (August 23-24).
The ballot saw fire and rescue workers back strike action in a dispute over pay by 97.6% on a turnout of 90.2%, according to the Unite union.
A walk-out by firefighters would likely mean the closure of the airport as flights would not be able to land and take-off for safety reasons.
The first two day strike, which involves security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers, is set to take place this Friday and Saturday unless a breakthrough in talks between the union and Heathrow at the conciliation service Acas can be found.
The planned strikes follow the rejection of an 18 month pay offer amounting to 2.7%, which Unite claimed amounts to £3.75 extra a day for the lowest paid workers involved.
Unite regional officer Russ Bull said: “Bosses at Heathrow airport need to heed this massive vote in favour of strike action by a group of workers who are essential to the airport’s safety.
“They need to seize the window of opportunity that talks at the conciliation service Acas offer and work with Unite to resolve this pay dispute.
“The disruption of strike action can be avoided, but only if Heathrow airport bosses start listening to staff across the airport.
“Workers who are essential to the smooth and safe running of Heathrow are sick and tired of bosses pleading poverty and being told to accept a pittance of a pay rise, while shareholders receive billions in dividends and the chief executive pockets a pay rise of 103.2%.
“Our members do not take strike action lightly, but they have grown increasingly frustrated.
“This is a dispute which could have been sorted months ago. It is time Heathrow airport started talking seriously about a fair pay rise which recognises the vital role they play in keeping passengers on the move.”
Heathrow said: “We are disappointed that Unite will be taking strike action.
“We will be working alongside our airline partners to minimise disruption to passengers as they look towards their well-deserved summer holidays.”
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