UK: Acas conciliation service to intervene in BAA-Union dispute

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Following the news that members of the Unite union have voted for strike action in their pay dispute with the airport owner BAA, the Acas conciliation service has moved to try and mediate between the two sides. Talks may begin before Monday and are aimed at preventing walkouts by essential staff, including firefighters and engineers, which would cause six UK airports – including Heathrow and Stansted – to close.

BAA has defended the size of the pay offer which is worth up to 1.5% by emphasising the decline in passengers it has faced as a result of the recession and volcanic ash cloud.

Should talks fail to resolve the impasse, any strike action could only occur once the union has given one week’s notice. Some reports point to the August Bank Holiday weekend of 28 August as being a potential target for disruption.