Flights into and out of Britain's main airport were severely disrupted on Friday (22 June) as Air Traffic Controllers and weather forecasters staged a twenty-four-hour strike in support of a pay claim.
Flights into and out of Britain's main airport were severely disrupted on Friday (22 June) as Air Traffic Controllers and weather forecasters staged a twenty-four-hour strike in support of a pay claim. As the day wore on it become apparent that not all the controllers had stopped work and later in the day some flights did resume at Heathrow, the largest airport in the country.
SYNOPSIS: On a normal Friday morning, the control tower at London's Heathrow Airport would be filled with air traffic controllers busy guiding aircraft into and out of the airport. But this Friday (22 June) the tower was empty. Since midnight most of the controllers had stopped work -- as had weather forecasters.
The controllers had decided to take action -- which kept these aircraft on the ground -- in support of a pay claim lodged by their union -- the Institution of Professional and Civil Servants.
Response to the strike call was uneven. London's second airport -- Gatwick was operating almost normally. There was a delay on most flights, but no longer than an hour. In Scotland, Glasgow Airport was almost completely shut down, while flights to other airports were unaffected.
About on hundred thousand workers are involved in the strike, including forensic scientists, psychologists and workers at the Royal Mint. The strike also meant there were no weather forecasters on radio and television for the day. The strikers want their pay increased by up to forty-seven per cent for technical staff and up to thirty-three per cent for scientists. The Government has agreed to pay the scientists their rise if technical staff will accept rises of up to twenty-four per cent.
Passengers did turn up at Heathrow, still hoping to get away and as the day wore on some lucky ones did leave. By mid-afternoon, what is normally Britain's what is normally Britain's busiest airport -- handling about nine hundred flights a day -- was operating a quarter of its normal aircraft movements.