Joined: 09 Sep 2002
|Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 11:14 am Post subject: UK airport strikes called off
|The threat of pre-Christmas strikes at major UK airports has been averted, after union leaders agreed a pay deal. T&G officials agreed the deal with British Airports Authority (BAA) management after 10 hours of overnight negotiations.
The offer, an 8% increase over two years, will be recommended to T&G members ahead of a final postal ballot. Amicus, who had several hundred members involved in the strike and had accepted a previous lower offer, will also be offered the increased wages. About 6,000 firefighters, security staff and engineers at seven airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick, had threatened to hold three days of strikes over the festive period if a deal was not reached.
T&G general secretary Bill Morris said the deal, which worked out at about £1,500 extra a year, was "good news for low paid workers and good news for the travelling public. The deal has actually addressed one of our key concerns, that was to do something additional for our low-paid workers," he said. "It's a long-term deal, it's over two years which will give the company stability in its planning and its strategic development. But what is even more important is there'll be no disruption, no strikes or any form of disruption... passengers can fly off and enjoy their Christmas."
BAA deputy chief executive Mike Clasper said he was very pleased with the deal. He said the two sides, who had been negotiating since January, could not reach agreement sooner because of the pressures on the industry since 11 September. "It's been a balance between a difficult period for our airlines - and therefore what they can afford to pay for our facilities - and a difficult period for our staff, because of the extra pressures in the area of security. Trying to get a balance between those two things has been difficult."
On Tuesday a ballot of T&G members rejected by more than 2-1 against, an offer said by BAA to be worth 7% over two years.
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