Airport managers in strike action ballot

Airport managers in strike action ballot

Managerial, technical and support staff at UK airport operator BAA are to be balloted on industrial action following the breakdown of talks to resolve their ongoing pay dispute.

The union has contacted BAA to inform them of its intention to ballot on strike action and action short of a strike in seven days’ time.

The ballot will therefore open on July 23 and close Thursday August 12 at noon. Papers will be sent to members based at Gatwick, Heathrow, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton and Stansted airports.

In consultative ballots, members of the three unions recognised at BAA – Prospect, Unite and PCS – each returned votes in excess of 90% in favour of rejection of a pay offer which would provide a 1% increase to basic salary, with a further 0.5% linked to a new attendance management policy.

Members were also outraged by BAA’s decision not to honour a £450 one-off payment agreed as part of the 2009 deal and an expected airport bonus normally paid within the summer period.

Prospect Negotiator Ben Middleton said: “Given that BAA staff accepted a pay freeze in 2009 to assist the company during a difficult period, the union made it absolutely clear that BAA has let its workforce down badly.

“Their loyalty to the company has not been recognised by management which has shown a complete disregard for the important contribution its employees make to the continued success of the business. BAA has also chosen to ignore warnings from the negotiating table that their actions were confrontational and invited a reaction from staff.”

Note: Although BAA no longer owns Gatwick Airport, Prospect has a number of members based there who are employed by BAA.