Published on Friday, August 13, 2010

Acas attempts to avert strike


Acas is attempting to avert a strike at UK airports by acting as a mediator between airports operator BAA and the union representing disgruntled workers, Unite.


The conciliation service confirmed today that it will be facilitating a meeting between the two sides after Unite members yesterday voted three-to-one in favour of industrial action at BAA's six UK airports.


Strikes by firefighters, security guards, engineers and ground staff, who have rejected a 1 per cent pay offer, will force BAA to shut down airports, hitting up to 350,000 passengers a day.


Unite is expected to announce strike dates on Monday unless Acas can negotiate an agreement between the union and BAA over the weekend.


Acas chief conciliator Peter Harwood said: "We can confirm that Acas will be facilitating an early meeting of the parties once diaries can be cleared."


BAA said it could not confirm that it would be attending talks hosted by Acas, but a spokesman said: "We are available for talks and we've told Unite that."


Unite said in a statement: "Unite is available to meet with BAA to reach a negotiated solution to this dispute and hopes BAA takes up this offer."


Ryanair claims it will have to cancel up to 300 flights a day at Stansted, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports if strikes by what it described as 'selfish and underworked Unite members' go ahead.


The airline said industrial action would hit 50,000 of its passengers. Other airports affected are Heathrow, Glasgow and Southampton.


By Linsey McNeill




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