BAA staff vote in favour for strike action
Travel chaos is looming after airport operator, BAA, has voted in favour of strike action, the Unite union has announced today.
BAA, which is majority owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, owns six airports: Heathrow, Stansted, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Southampton.
These airports would have to close on any strike days, as crucial staff including fire-fighters, security staff and ground staff at airports, would take part.
Approximately, 350,000 passengers per day travel through the six airports and industrial action would affect more than 200 airlines.
The vote for strike action comes as union members are in a dispute over pay.
According to Unite, BAA staff accepted a pay freeze in 2009 but are unhappy with a 2010 pay offer of 1%, with the possibility of an extra 0.5% if the union agrees to changes on sickness regulations.
Unite has described the offer as “measly” and “nothing short of confrontational”.
Strike dates are expected to be announced next week.
However, Unite said it would be meeting on Monday to discuss a plan of action, leaving the weekend open for talks.
Walkouts could commence as early as 23 August.
Brendan Gold of Unite said it did not intend to ruin people’s summer holidays. In a news conference, he said: “The advice we would give to passengers is to put pressure on the company to come to reach a negotiated settlement.”
In related news, Unite is currently in a long-running dispute with British Airways over cost-cutting measures.
Cabin crew members have been on strike for 22 days this year and Unite has threatened to ballot for further strikes, which could start next month.