Airport International News - July 2012
Government Ministers Question Legality of Heathrow Strike
Posted by Victoria Knowles - Airport International Reporter on 25/07/2012 - 03:55:00
Government ministers are pursuing a high court injunction to prevent strike action in airports on the eve of the Olympics.
On Wednesday 25th July they will approach the high court with intention to ban the strike, due to take place on Thursday 26th July claiming the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) made a "procedural error".
Heathrow Airport Strike
"We want the PCS leadership to call off this irresponsible strike and we continue to ask members not to walk out at a time when the eyes of the world are on the UK," a Home Office Official said.
The Union would prefer to sit with ministers and negotiate, but in response to this action, they said, "it is our intention to robustly defend any legal challenge."
"There are some very serious issues at the heart of this dispute - not least plans to cut 8,500 Home Office jobs, a third of the workforce," they continued. "We can all see the damaging effect these cuts are having on the department's ability to function, whether at the borders or in the passport service."
With only 12% of Union members voting for the industrial action, officials are validating the legality of the results.
Government Ministers: Is the Strike Legal?
Home Office official Lord Henry said, "We are currently checking on the legality of the strike and, if satisfied it is illegal, we will take the appropriate remedies in the courts."
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt criticized the Union's general secretary for his decision to take strike action, "Mark Serwotka must be losing confidence that what he's doing is actually representing the views of most of the members."
The 24-hour strike could effect immigration and custom, but is unlikely to significantly disrupt passport control, as the Immigration Service Union is not participating in the strike. Hunt states, "it will be the most important day of their professional career, when Heathrow will be centre of international attention."
The UK Border Agency has told London Airports to anticipate limited impact on procedures, while it attempts to hire volunteers to replace striking staff.
Other recent transport disruptions this week include power cuts and signal failures affecting London Underground and Overground, and the latest hot weather affecting National Rail Services to Stratford. Taxi drivers, who claim they will create disorder, protest "Zil Lanes" - lanes set aside for Olympic traffic.
Recently Added News
An Airbus A319 had to make an emergency landing due to a technical fault at Heathrow moments after taking off and as a result both runways were shut.
Flybe has withdrawn from London Gatwick and has deferred half of their new Embraer aircraft in restructuring efforts aimed at saving $37m.
Surat airport has produced figures showing a 25 percent increase in passenger traffic, enticing interest from major airlines from across India.
US officials approve new United States airport security measure that would involve all non-US residents being fingerprinted before they could fly home