Unite has announced that workers at Heathrow airport will go on strike during the FIFA World Cup due to a pay dispute.

The strike action involves 700 workers employed by Dnata and Menzies and is set to begin in the early hours of November 18 and last three days, ending in the early hours of November 21.

The union says that this will particularly affect Qatar Airways, which has scheduled an additional ten flights a week during its hosting of the World Cup, which begins on November 20.

Aside from Qatar Airways, the strike action is likely to heavily hit airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates, as well as passengetrs returning to the US for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The strike action will cause “disruption, cancellations and delays” at Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4, according to Unite.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

“Our members at Dnata and Menzies undertake highly challenging roles and are simply seeking a decent pay rise. Both companies are highly profitable and can fully afford to make a fair pay increase. The owners and directors are simply lining their own pockets rather than paying their workers fairly.

“The workers at Heathrow will have Unite’s complete support during this dispute.”

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall added:

“Strike action will inevitably cause disruption, delays and cancellations to flights throughout Heathrow, with travellers to the World Cup particularly affected. However, this dispute is entirely of Dnata and Menzies own making. They have had every opportunity to make a fair pay offer but have chosen not to do so.”

This news comes after Heathrow removed its passenger cap at the end of October, though there is a possibility it will reintroduce such a restriction during the Christmas holidays.

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