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Deal averts airports strike threat

Details of a pay deal which averted summer holiday strike action at six UK airports will be revealed on Tuesday.

After lengthy talks between the leaders of Unite and bosses from airport operator BAA a new pay deal was agreed which will be recommended for acceptance by union members.

The union said a "much improved" offer had been tabled for the workers at Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports.

Unite's national officer Brian Boyd said the union was calling off the threat of strikes while workers voted on the new proposal over the next few weeks.

Mr Boyd, speaking outside the headquarters of conciliation service Acas, where the talks were held, said: "Unite's negotiating committee will recommend a much-improved offer from BAA.

"Details of the agreement will be made public once BAA staff have been advised of the improved offer."

Mr Boyd said he wanted to thank Acas for its help during the "tough negotiations".

Peter Harwood, chief conciliator at Acas, said the talks had been "challenging" but was pleased that the basis of a deal had been agreed.

Mr Harwood said Unite, as well as two other unions involved in the dispute, Prospect and the Public and Commercial Services union, will ballot their members with a recommendation to accept, adding: "Acas is pleased at this development and hope that the matter will soon be settled."

Terry Morgan of Spanish-owned BAA said: "We believe that the unions are going to recommend acceptance of our offer to their membership, and if that's the case, then we are very, very confident that any disruption to our airport operations has now been avoided, which is very important to us, to make sure that people travelling on holiday and business over the next few weeks can do so with a high degree of confidence that their journeys are not going to be disrupted."

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