January strikes at UK airports
There will be two 24 hour strikes and one 48 hour strike in January at the seven UK airports run by BAA, including Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The strikes at BAA's airports will start with a 24 hour walkout starting at 0600 on 7 January, followed by another 24 hour walkout on 14 January, and then a 48 hour strike starting at 0600 on 17 January.
The strike dates means that travel chaos at Christmas has been averted, but the first day of action could affect people returning to the UK after a New Year's holiday. It seems inevitable that the strike will cause major disruption and could even lead to the closure of the airports. The other airports affected by the strikes are Southampton and Aberdeen.
The airport strike has been called by a ballot of 5,000 members of the Unite union and will involve security, firefighting, maintenance and clerical workers at BAA's seven UK airports. They are objecting to BAA's decision to close its final salary pension scheme to new entrants. It is believed that 1,946 members voted for strike action, and 1,108 voted against.
"The unions are not prepared to accept the introduction of a devalued pension provision which places our members' future pensions at risk of the stock market," said Unite spokesman, Brendan Gold.
"We do not want to disrupt the travelling public over Christmas and New Year, but we are determined to get a result on this issue," Gold said at the press conference announcing the strike.
BAA is expected to attempt to put contingency plans in place on the strike days, but the strike is likely to affect millions of people flying off on holiday or returning to the UK.
Written by: Nick Purdom
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