An aviation union has blasted Heathrow Airport for slashing workers' pay.

The principal aviation union, Unite, has accused Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) of using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to permanently cut the pay and conditions of its workforce.

Unite represents around 4,500 workers who are directly employed at the airport working in security, engineering, the fire service, passenger services and airside operations.

The Gazette previously reported that employees will face pay cuts of up to 37 per cent.

In May, Heathrow announced that the airport has a "war chest" of £3.2billion to survive on which could help funding costs without a flight leaving the airport for a year.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “From the start, our priority has been to protect jobs but with the ongoing crisis, this is getting more difficult to sustain.

“Having listened to unions, we have offered a voluntary severance scheme and negotiations will continue in coming weeks.”

In response to Heathrow's comment, Unite's regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King said: “These are not well paid workers as it is but they have worked extremely hard to make Heathrow the highly profitable airport that it is today.

"To attack their pay and conditions in this way and at under the cover of the public health crisis is a disgraceful act from a business with billions in the bank.

“HAL does not need to make these cuts permanent they want to. This is about pure greed and not need.

“Unite has tried to negotiate an acceptable compromise but these have been rejected outright.

“Our members have continued to work on the frontline throughout the pandemic, potentially placing their health and that of their family at risk, to protect the interests of the airport.

“As a thank you HAL wants to slash workers’ pay and conditions.

“If HAL is not prepared to return to the negotiating table and consider acceptable alternatives, then Unite will seek to resolve this attack on its members through whatever industrial, political and legal channels necessary.”

Conservative MP for Basingstoke, Maria Miller, has been contacted for comment.