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12 August 2010
Unite the Union members at BAA have delivered a substantial vote for strike action in a dispute over a derisory one per cent pay offer.
The union balloted 6,185 staff including security staff, engineers, fire-fighters and support staff at BAA's six airports: Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. 74% of BAA's staff who took part in the ballot voted in favour of strike action.
Unite national officer for civil aviation, Brian Boyd said: "Last year BAA's employees accepted a pay freeze to help the company because they understood the difficult financial operating environment within civil aviation. A pay offer of one per cent plus the withdrawal of two payments worth over £1,000 is simply confrontational.
"CEO Colin Matthews recently hailed BAA's financial performance and passenger numbers at Heathrow reached a record high in July. BAA has constantly ignored the contribution its employees make to the ongoing success of the business. Unite members have delivered a strong message that they deserve more.”
Unite national officer for civil aviation, Brendan Gold said: "This ballot result reflects what our members feel about BAA's current attitude. For the past four months BAA has refused to even meet with us. BAA is doing passengers a great disservice by allowing this dispute to get to this stage. We are therefore calling on BAA to return to the negotiating table with a fair offer."
The current offer of a one per cent increase on basic earnings plus an additional 0.5 per cent conditional on changes to its sickness agreement falls far short of employee expectations. In 2009 BAA staff accepted a pay freeze. However, to compound employee frustrations, BAA withdrew a proposed £450 payment due to it narrowly missing the EBITDA target of £1.2 billion by just three per cent. The company has also informed all staff that they would lose out on their annual airport incentive payment of £700 for 2010.
Unite will be meeting with its key representatives on Monday 16th August to decide what form of industrial action union members will take.
Number of ballot papers returned: 3,055
Number of papers found to be invalid: 1
Total number of valid papers counted: 3,054
Number voting ‘yes’: 2,263 (74.1%)
Number voting ‘no’: 791 (25.9%)