BAA union workers had threatened a strike to coincide with the end of month holiday weekend after they rejected a 1 per cent pay raise. Monday the Unite union representatives and BAA came together to open up talks once more and avoid a walk out. The Unite union represented 6,000 BAA workers that fill the airport positions of security and firefighters.
The conciliation service group Acas conducted the talk and the union has an offer to take back to their members. BAA has offered an additional 0.5 per cent on top of their 1.0 per cent previous range.”
Brendon Gold, national secretary of Unite, said: “We’ve reached a settlement which we are prepared to recommend to our members. We will be undertaking a ballot of our members, and that will commence over the next couple of days, and last for probably about three weeks. The Union workers came under harsh criticism by Ryanair and others as being “selfish” in striking during a time when airport traffic has declined in an unsure economy. Gold commented: “We are very pleased to be able to reassure the travelling public that we for our side have worked tirelessly to achieve a settlement.”
If a strike occurs it would close down six airports, including Heathrow. About 2,500 flights a day would be cancelled. The union is required to give 7 days notice before a walkout should the members vote to go ahead with the strike.
Terry Morgan of BAA, owned by the Spanish company Ferrovial, 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. I think it’s a deal that is a fair reward for our staff, but it’s also a deal that the company can afford.”