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11th of August 2011
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Travel chaos looming as BAA votes for strike action

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by Kay Mitchell

Holidaymakers could be facing further travel chaos after it emerged that airport operator, BAA, has voted for strike action.

The results of the ballot are expected later today and Unite members who include fire-fighters, security staff and ground staff at airports, are in a dispute over pay.

BAA, which is majority owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, owns six airports: Heathrow, Stansted, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Southampton.

Should strike action go ahead, thousands of travellers will be affected at these airports.

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”.

Unite’s Brendan Gold and Brian Boyd said: “Last year, staff accepted a pay freeze, their generosity helped the company, BAA has returned the favour with no bonus and a 1% pay offer when inflation is currently 5%.

“Unite and BAA have been in talks for months and we are prepared to continue talking.

“A negotiated agreement can be reached if the company is prepared to be fairer and more realistic,” they added.

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.

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News posted: August 12, 2010

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