Union and airline caterer to hold talks about Heathrow dispute at Acas

Talks aimed at resolving the industrial dispute that has grounded BA flights at Heathrow airport are to be held at Acas.

A statement from the conciliation service said the Transport and General Workers Union and catering firm Gate Gourmet will meet to try to break the deadlock in the row which sparked wildcat strikes by baggage handlers.

It is believed the talks will be held at offices near Heathrow airport rather than at the Acas headquarters in central London.

Acas said in a statement: “Following discussions between the company, the TGWU and Acas, the parties have agreed to open discussions without prejudice, via the use of Acas, in order to resolve the major difficulties they face.

“Acas intends that the discussions are designed to find a solution to the company’s business difficulties alongside the TGWU’s objective of reinstating/returning to work of its members. Discussions will start immediately with a view to reaching agreement.”

The dispute flared on Wednesday after hundreds of Gate Gourmet workers were sacked in a row over planned changes to work practices.

BA has cancelled all flights to and from the airport until at least 8pm on Friday, but there were growing fears that the disruption could continue for several days.

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