Opinion Former Article

Unite: Strike ballot over pension cuts at BAA

Key workers at BAA's seven airports - including Heathrow, Gatwick and Glasgow - are to vote on strike action in protest at cuts in the final salary pension scheme at the profitable Spanish-owned company.

Over 5,000 airport firefighters, security, maintenance, administrative and clerical staff belonging to Unite, Britain's largest union, will be taking part in the ballot.

"BAA has just posted profits of over five hundred million pounds and the Spanish owners Ferrovial have seen their profits rise by nearly sixty per cent. It is clear that the pension scheme is financially sound, and should be left alone," said Unite national secretary for civil air transport Brendan Gold.

Mr Gold said BAA and Ferrovial should understand that the workforce has lost trust in them. Not allowing new employees to join the company's final salary pension scheme after December 1 was viewed as being the first step in the axing of the whole scheme for everyone.

"It is no wonder BAA has a strike ballot on its hands coming up to one of its busiest seasons," he continued. "The timing of this dispute is entirely down to BAA and its Madrid paymasters."

The strike ballot will start on November 29, close on December 20 and be run independently of the union. It will cover Unite members at BAA's seven airports at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

In the event of a 'yes' vote the union will have a period of 28 days to take any action, and is required to give 7 days notice.

If industrial action does take place, it is inevitable that airports affected will be closed.

ENDS

For further information: Unite Press Office on 020 7611 2550

Brendan Gold 07970 081 526 or Brian Boyd 07880 796 347

More Articles by Unite - the union (T&G section) ...

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