Airport baggage handlers reject pay offer

Summer
strikes at airports look more likely after British Airways (BA) baggage
handlers rejected a pay deal worth 8.5 per cent.

GMB
union members turned down the offer with an overwhelming majority of 98 per
cent, and now union officials will hold a ballot for industrial action.

Baggage
handlers at the T&G union have already voted on potential strike action and
the result of the ballot will be known in the next few days.

In
total, 8,000 BA baggage handlers, check-in and administrative staff could be
involved after BA’s offer of 8.5 per cent over three years, or 10.5 per cent if
it did not count towards pensions, was rejected.

GMB
officer, Ed Blisset, said money must be given to workers to "keep them
above the poverty line".

“Both
offers are unacceptable to the people who keep BA flying,” he said. “There is
money sloshing around at BA for the board, managers and pilots.”

BA
said the offer was reasonable and the industry was facing tough times. BA plans
to lower costs by £300m in the next two years.

By Michael Millar

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