BAA and Unite have indicated that the strike which threatens to close down as many as six UK airports may still be averted. The scenario will be somewhat clearer on 16th August, 2010 after a meeting between the two bodies.
In the wake of the vote for strike-action called over the pay dispute of BAA workers, as many 6 airports across the UK face a potential closure. The striking staff would include workers manning essential services like fire fighting, airport security, and engineering. The strike would affect the Heathrow
, Southampton and Glasgow airports.However, there is a ray of hope. As per reports, there would be a meeting between BAA and Unite members on Monday. Unite is the biggest trade union in the UK and represents nearly a two-third of the BAA’s employees. In this meeting Unite would be deciding upon the type of industrial action to be taken by its members. It is reported that the talks would also explore possibilities to avert the strike and prevent inconvenience to travellers. Even if the strike does go through, Unite members are required to serve a seven day notice before taking action. This means that the earliest possible date of the imminent strike is 23rd August, 2010. The date assumes significance in view of the fact that bank holidays would start later in that week.
Voting was carried out by some 6,185 staff members of the BAA and thousands of workers voted in the support of walk outs. If work grinds to a halt, the travel plans of over a million passengers would be thrown in disarray, not to mention the adverse impact upon scores offlights from London and other UK airports.
The British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron has condemned the call for strike in strong words and has warned that any such action would have serious repercussions on the economy of the UK. It remains to be seen whether the BAA and Unite would together work out a manoeuvre on Monday and avert the strike.