WORKERS AT airport operators BAA have had to postpone their series of one-day strikes over pay to ballot on the company's revised pay offer. The decision to reballot follows a fierce argument with the TGWU, the union that represents many of the workers.
The argument was between the committee delegates who have ordinary jobs as well as positions in the union and the full time union officials who lead the pay negotiations.
Following the argument, Bill Morris, the union general secretary, took responsibility for leading the TGWU delegation over the pay issue. The original mandate for taking strike action is still 'live'. This means that if the offer is rejected the company will be notified of the new strike dates. There is a lot at stake.
The company has been exerting intense pressure on staff with briefings and slide shows threatening the direst consequences if the strike goes ahead. Indications are that the company's attempts to get a yes vote are having the opposite effect. The company's efforts are stoking up intense anger at what the workforce sees as gross interference. The ballot will finish on 10 December. Workers in both the TGWU and Amicus unions are being balloted.
The offer being considered by the workforce is a 1.7 percent or £400 raise, plus a payout of £300 in two staggered payments next year. This will be followed by a 3.5 percent raise the following year. There are big strings attached to the offer.