Union in talks with UK airport operator on strikes
Union leaders are to hold talks with airport operator BAA on Monday in an attempt to avert a series of strikes that could cause widespread travel chaos in January.
A BAA spokeswoman said the talks would take place at an undisclosed location after negotiations last week failed to solve the dispute over pensions.
The first 24-hour strike is due to start at 1:00 a.m. EST next Monday, with another a week later and a two-day stoppage on January 17.
They will affect an estimated 1.3 million passengers at the country's biggest airport Heathrow, in London, as well as Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
The Unite union called a strike ballot to protest against BAA's closure of its final salary pension scheme to new members.
Firefighters and security, administrative and clerical staff are all due to strike. Unite, which represents about 6,000 BAA workers, expects the industrial action to close airports.
Its national aviation secretary, Brendan Gold, said the existing pension scheme was financially sound and should be kept. ( Reuters )