Unions claim airport victory as BAA backs down over pensions

Unions representing workers at BAA have called off the threat of strike action in a row over pensions.

The Spanish-owned company, which runs seven UK airports including Heathrow and Gatwick, has backed down on its plans to close its final salary pension scheme to new entrants.

Union officials representing Unite and the Public and Commercial Services Union hailed the decision as a “major victory”.

BAA airport firefighters, security, maintenance, administrative and clerical staff had voted to hold a series of strikes in the next few weeks.

A strike due for next Monday (14 January) had already been called off after union negotiators met BAA management earlier this week.

Unite national aviation secretary Brendan Gold said: “This is good news for our members, for BAA and for air travellers. It is a total vindication of the action taken by our members in voting to defend their pension scheme.”

Under the terms of the plan, BAA and the unions will meet to consider the future of the pension fund and call in independent experts to assess it.

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