Security guards at Heathrow Airport are to strike over Easter in a dispute over pay, with passengers warned they face “severe delays”.

The Unite union said flights using Heathrow Airport will “experience severe delays and disruption this Easter” as the workers stage a 10-day walkout.

More than 1,400 security guards employed by Heathrow Airports Ltd (HAL), who are members of Unite, will strike after voting in favour of the industrial action.

The walkout will begin on Friday 31 March, with the final day of strike action on Sunday 9 April (Easter Sunday).

The strike action involves security guards employed at Terminal Five.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said the workers are “fundamental to [the airport’s] success” and they deserve a fair pay increase.

Read more: Who is striking and when?

A Heathrow spokesperson said passengers can be reassured that the airport has “contingency plans” in place which will keep the airport “open and operational despite unnecessary threats of strike action by Unite”.

“Threatening to ruin people’s hard-earned holidays with strike action will not improve the deal,” they said.

“We want to do the right thing by our people and our passengers, each day only delays this pay rise reaching Unite members’ pockets.”

Back in December, strike action by ground handlers at Heathrow was called off after an improved pay offer was made.

Around 400 Unite union members working for Menzies, an aviation company, planned to walk out for 72 hours until a larger pay offer was put on the table.

Passport Office staff to strike for five weeks

The announcement from Heathrow comes after more than 1,000 Passport Office staff across the UK will strike for five weeks in an escalation of a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union working at passport offices in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newport, Peterborough and Southport will walk out from 3 April to 5 May.

Those in Belfast will strike from 7 April to 5 May.

The union said the action is a “significant escalation” in the long-running dispute, as it warned the strike will have a “significant impact” on the delivery of passports as summer approaches.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Strike campaign to last ‘through summer’

Members are asking for a 10% pay rise as well as job security, changes to their pensions and protected redundancy terms.

But the government has said demands from civil servants would cost £2.4bn and are unaffordable.

Read more:
NHS unions reach pay deal after 5% increase offer
Pints, child support and pensions: Budget 2023 at a glance

Passport Office staff have come under increasing pressure following a “record number of applications” in 2022 after COVID restrictions were lifted in the UK and abroad, the Home Office said.

A total of 360,000 people had to wait longer than 10 weeks to receive their passports last year.

When asked about the fresh round of strikes, a Downing Street spokesperson said the PM is “disappointed” the action is going ahead and the government will do “everything we can” to mitigate the impact.

They added that there are no plans to change the official 10-week waiting time for passports that was introduced in 2021 to cater to a surge in demand following the pandemic.

On 1 February, Passport Office staff joined about 100,000 civil servants represented by the PCS as part of industrial action affecting 124 government departments.

Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts

About 133,000 civil servants also walked out on Wednesday in the largest day of strikes since this current wave started last year.