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Fri, Aug 22, 2008

Union Holds Off On British Airport Strikes

Postpones Walkouts Pending Ballot

Representatives with Unite, the union representing baggage handlers and check-in staff at a number of British airports, tell ANN threatened strikes have been called off... for now.

Following intensive negotiations through the arbitration and conciliation service ACAS, Swissport have tabled a revised pay offer for baggage handlers and check-in staff.

As ANN reported, Swissport staff at Gatwick and Stansted had planned to hold two 24 hour strikes on August 25 and 29. Similar strikes at Manchester were to take place on August 27, and again on September 1.

Unite says ii will hold a consultative ballot with its members at Swissport which will begin shortly. Therefore, the union will suspend industrial action at Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports pending the outcome of the ballot result.

Swissport had offered union workers a 3% pay increase backdated to July, rather than the anniversary date of April 1 and in a two year offer, with regular pay increases capped at 4% in year two -- lower than the current 5% rate. The company offer also removes sick pay for the first three days of any absence due to illness, including industrial injury.

The union wants an increase in excess of 5% in a one year deal, without concessions.

FMI: www.amicustheunion.org/

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