Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Air strike damaging, warns Cameron

A threatened airport workers strike would bring nothing but damage, warned David Cameron

David Cameron has warned that strike action by thousands of airport workers would achieve nothing "apart from damage".

As the Unite union prepared to announce the result of a strike ballot of 6,000 staff employed by airports operator BAA, the Prime Minister said that he hoped there would not be any stoppages.

"These sorts of strikes never achieve anything apart from damage - damage to business, damage to jobs, damage to the interests of tourists who want to come to visit Britain, or people who want to leave Britain and have a holiday overseas," he told reporters at No 10.

"I very much hope that they don't go ahead. They will do nothing but harm. We want to demonstrate that Britain is open for business."

Unite is urging firefighters, engineers and support and security staff at Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh airports to vote for industrial action over what it calls BAA's "measly" pay offer.

The union said staff had already accepted a pay freeze in 2009 and that this year the company offered staff a 1% pay increase, plus 0.5% which was conditional on changes to a sickness agreement.

Unite also wants workers to receive a performance-related bonus that was promised to them if the company hit a certain financial target.

BAA said it made a "reasonable" offer at a time when "BAA and its airline customers are seeing a decline in passengers due to the impacts of recession and volcanic ash".

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