That’s the view of the Unite union anyway, which wants a bigger payrise for its members.

The strike, which threatens to run from just after midnight tomorrow (Thursday) and continue for 24 hours, will affect airlines using Terminals 1, 2 and 3 at one of of the world’s three busiest airports.

The dispute, affecting ground handling staff who cover such duties as check-in and baggage handling, arose because Unite, the union which claims to represents more than 500 ground handlers, says the offer of a 5.5% pay rise over two years isn’t enough to cover what it describes as “the soaring cost of living” affecting its members.

Unite official Michelle Braveboy said: “The prospect of incipient chaos for thousands of passengers should concentrate the minds of management and get them around the table again to negotiate a fair settlement.”

She said the company employing the handlers, ASIG, had won many new contracts but has “forgotten the staff who have contributed so greatly to that success”. 

Unite said that the company’s foot dragging over pay was made worse by lower staff numbers, too much overtime and pressure from passengers when baggage moving equipment packed up. 

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