Socialist Worker

BAA to strike at Xmas?

Issue No. 2079

Workers at BAA’s airports are to vote on strike action over pensions.

Over 5,000 members of the Unite union will be balloted for industrial action over BAA’s plans to close its final salary pension scheme to new members from the beginning of next month. The ballot starts this week and ends on 20 December.

If the union gets a yes vote it could stage the first walkout on 27 December.

Last year nearly 11 million people used BAA’s airports in December.

A strike would involve staff in maintenance, clerical, security and firefighting at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports.

The union said it is worried that closing the scheme to new members would be the start of a more fundamental wind-down of the pension plan.

Brendan Gold, national officer at Unite, said that changes to the pension scheme were unjustified while BAA had reported profits of more than £500 million and its owner, the Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, had seen its profits increase by nearly 60 percent.

Gold blamed BAA’s decision to close the scheme to new members from 1 December for the timing of the potential action. “The timing of this dispute is entirely down to BAA.”

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Tue 27 Nov 2007, 18:48 GMT
Issue No. 2079
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