Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Talks bid to avoid airports strike

Brendan Gold will speak to Unite shop stewards on Monday
Passengers wait to board planes in Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport
Workers at BAA airports, including Heathrow, have voted for strike action

Management and unions locked in a bitter airport workers' pay dispute will meet at conciliation service Acas on Monday in a bid to stop a strike which could wreck travel plans for millions.

Ground staff workers, represented by union Unite, at six UK airports run by BAA, including Heathrow, have voted three to one to strike.

The Unite workers include firefighters and security staff, with Unite saying that BAA faces a "total shutdown" at the six airports - Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

But Acas has offered to hold talks and it has been agreed that these discussions would take place on Monday.

BAA also said it was ready to meet the unions over the weekend.

Members of the Prospect union, which also represents workers at BAA airports, have also voted in favour of strike action.

Only around half of the 6,000 workers balloted by Unite voted, but 74.1% of those who did vote opted for strike action.

BAA said: "We look forward to meeting the trade unions at Acas on Monday and are ready to meet over the weekend or any time that the unions are available.

"We hope that we can quickly conclude an agreement, in the interests of the travelling public, our airlines and our staff, the majority of whom did not vote for a strike."

The Unite leaders are due to meet their shop stewards on Monday to decide the next course of action, with no strike dates having yet been announced.

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