Heathrow Airport must honour London Living Wage pledge

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GMB London call on Heathrow Airport and airport operators to honour pledge to pay London living wage as condition in new ground operators license

Heathrow should live up to its commitments to pay a living wage and for them and the operators to recognise that there is no future with a low paid workforce at the Airport says GMB London 

GMB London, the union for airport workers, is calling on Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) and airport operators to honour the  commitment for operators and their subcontractors to pay a London living wage of £10.85 per hour to all airport ground staff in the new revised Ground Operators Licence.

This call came after GMB London learned that operating companies at Heathrow Airport are planning to remove the London Living Wage pay clause from the Ground Operating Licence (GOL) that commit them to paying the London Living Wage ( LLW) as a minimum to their workers.

Every company and employer at Heathrow that provides a service, such as Airlines, ground handling, security, hospitality etc must have the Ground operating licence to operate at the Airport and are subject to different tiers within the licence. See below in notes to editors the link to GMB London press release on Heathrow 2019 commitment on paying London Living Wage.

Perry Phillips, GMB Regional Organiser at Heathrow, said “ GMB London is urging HAL and the operators to think again and honour the commitment  for all ground workers at the airport to be paid a London Living Wage of £10.85 in the revised Ground Operating Licence. 

HAL should live up to its commitments to pay a living wage and for them and the operators to recognise that there is no future with a low paid workforce at the Airport.

GMB understand that Heathrow has recently reviewed and renewed their Ground Operating Licence to companies at the Airport and have consulted with the community of operators regarding amendments to the licence and the incorporation of the London Living Wage. This was booted out by the companies and Heathrow have accepted the rejection of the LLW from the Operating Licence.

This is absolutely shocking and shameful news that operating employers, after consulting with HAL are not prepared to include the clause within the Ground Operating Licence that would see them having to pay their workers the London Living Wage”

What they are saying is that they want to continue paying poverty wages to their employees and keep the race to the bottom culture of bidding for contracts on the cheap at the expense of workers. 

This totally goes against Heathrow’s commitment of being signed up to the Living Wage Foundation and making sure companies commit to paying the LLW as a real living wage.”
Low paid Heathrow workers and their families are struggling to make ends meet with rises in home fuel prices, tax and national insurance increases and the high cost of living and deserve being paid a living  wage for keeping Heathrow safe and running through the covid pandemic.

 GMB and our members are appalled that Heathrow have allowed companies to opt out to pay the LLW.
GMB is calling on HAL to do the right thing and stand up against those operators who have rejected paying the London Living Wage. The GMB will continue its campaign to make sure employers within the direct and indirect supply chains pay the London Living Wage.”

Contact: Perry Phillips GMB Regional Organiser 07912293481
Trevlyn McLeod GMB Regional Organiser 07968137967

Notes to editors 
Link to GMB London November 2019 press release