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Heathrow refuelling workers call off 72-hour strike

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A planned strike later this week by refuelling workers at London Heathrow has been called off after the dispute about pay and conditions was settled.

Members of the union Unite had been due to walk out for 72 hours from Saturday (4 May) in a dispute with their employer Aviation Fuel Services (AFS), which provides fuel services to 35 airlines at Heathrow. But the strike has been called off after the workers accepted improved pay and conditions from AFS.

Unite’s announcement comes as Heathrow is being affected this week by a four-day strike by Border Force staff who are in dispute with the Home Office. While 800 passenger services staff at Heathrow are currently set to walk out for seven days from 7-13 May.

The union said it had been able to reach a deal with AFS following negotiations which led to improved pension and sick leave for new workers joining the company.

Unite’s regional officer Kevin Hall said: “This is a good win for our members at AFS. They do a dangerous, dirty and skilled job, and just wanted decent terms from their employer. Their determination is what led to this victory and shows the power of a union.”

A spokesperson for AFS added: “We are pleased to confirm that the planned industrial action involving AFS from 4-7 May has now been cancelled and normal service will go ahead.”

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