Workers at six UK airports vote for strike action

Added 13/08/2010

Walking feet

Thousands of workers have voted in favour of strike action after BAA handed them a measly pay offer. Six UK airports (Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh) could be closed if the strikes go ahead. The closures would be necessary if security staff and fire fighters take part in the strikes, because the airports wouldn’t be able to run without them.

A date for the strike action hasn’t yet been agreed, but it could affect the August bank holiday, when thousands of passengers will be travelling through UK airports to start their summer holidays. The earliest the strike could take place is 23 August. A date is expected to be announced on Monday. Every day, the six airports that could be affected deal with over 300,000 passengers between them.

David Cameron commented on the planned strike action, stating that it would do more harm than good. The tourism industry could be greatly affected by it, and foreign visitors could be put off booking holidays to the UK in the future.

Acas is attempting to mediate talks between BAA and the Unite union in order to call off the strike action. Unite has been heavily criticised by tour operators for threatening to cause chaos at UK airports. Already this year, British travellers have had to deal with European airport closures, airspace closures and the demise of the Goldtrail and Sun4U holiday firms. And the continuing disruptions have been occurring at the busiest time of the year — during the summer holidays.

More and more people have been opting to holiday at home to avoid travel disruptions, and more strike action could put people off booking holidays abroad in the future.