With the threat of strike action at British Airways seemingly receding, Unite has confirmed it is to open a new front against the perceived injustices in aviation industry with a strike ballot at airport operator BAA.
Following months of negotiations the trade union argues it has been left with no choice but to ballot members of prospective industrial action in a dispute over pay.
BAA has offered staff a one per cent pay rise, with an additional half per cent increase following changes to sick pay.
BAA staff accepted a pay freeze in 2009.
However, the disagreement centres on a dispute over a bonus payment to staff.
During the previous round of pay negotiations, BAA agreed to pay staff a bonus if it met its £1.2 billion EBITDA target.
The airport operator – which runs London Heathrow airport and a number of other properties in the UK – therefore declined to pay the bonus.
Unite argues the bonus should be paid, as BAA fell only three per cent short of the target.
“BAA staff have already accepted a pay freeze in 2009 to help the company, but they are not prepared to accept such a paltry offer this year,” said Unite’s national officer for civil aviation, Brendan Gold.
“We will therefore go into this ballot with strong resolve and a determination to demonstrate to BAA that its staff deserve better treatment than they are currently getting.”
The union will now ballot 6,185 staff - including security staff, engineers, and fire-fighters - at BAA airports including.
The strike ballot will open on Friday July 23rd and will close on August 12th.
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