BAA, Unite reach deal to avert airport strike


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    BAA, Unite reach deal to avert airport strike

    UK »
    LONDON | Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:10pm BST

    LONDON (Reuters) - Airport operator BAA and the Unite union have reached a deal to prevent a strike by ground staff at major UK airports this month, officials said on Monday.

    "We are pleased to report that a basis for settlement has been agreed," Chief Conciliator Peter Harwood, from the conciliation service Acas, said in a statement after a meeting between both parties.

    He said the details of the negotiations would be announced on Tuesday.

    The threatened walk-out by ground staff including security guards, firemen and engineers over a pay dispute would have likely shut BAA's six British airports, which include Heathrow and Stansted, disrupting the plans of thousands of travellers at the height of the holiday season.

    Terry Morgan, from BAA, owned by Spanish group Ferrovial, said both sides were pleased with the deal.

    "We believe that the unions are going to recommend acceptance of our offer to their membership, and if that's the case, then we are very, very confident that any disruption to our airport operations has now been avoided," he said.

    Unite National Secretary Brendan Gold said both sides had reached a settlement that it was prepared to recommend to its members.

    "We are very pleased to be able to reassure the travelling public that we for our side have worked tirelessly to achieve a settlement," he said.