Socialist Worker

Chance to hit back at BA’s scrooge bosses

Issue No. 1911

PAY TALKS between baggage handlers and check-in staff and British Airways broke down last week.

The TGWU represents most of the 8,000 workers affected, who are based at airports around Britain. The union pulled out of pay talks after the company refused to improve its offer of 8.5 percent over three years.

Airport workers employed by Aviance recently won a one-year, 3.5 percent deal after threatening strike action.

Any industrial action by the workforce would have a big impact during the summer holiday season.

Check-in workers showed their power at Heathrow airport last summer when they staged an unofficial walkout in protest at new working conditions.

Basic pay averages between just £12,000 a year for check-in staff and £16,000 for baggage handlers.

TGWU national officer Brendan Gold said, “Because of the logistics of balloting 8,000 workers, a plan will be put in place to stage a vote on whether to take industrial action.”

On several occasions recently action has been threatened at the airports but has not actually happened.

The union must not back off now unless there is a much better deal.

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Article information

Sat 24 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1911
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