Hopes that Heathrow BA strike will not go aheadon July 7, 2022 at 9:54 am

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Unions representing about 700 staff at Heathrow Airport may be close to a new pay deal.

People waiting in airportImage source, Getty Images

Unions representing about 700 staff at Heathrow Airport could be close to a deal with British Airways that would avert strikes this summer.

Following nine hours of negotiations on Wednesday, an “agreement in principle” is now being discussed, the BBC understands.

Such an deal could be signed later on Thursday and would then be put to a ballot of GMB and Unite union members.

Union sources said a “good offer” on pay is on the table.

Last month, workers, who are mostly check-in staff, voted to go on strike over pay, with unions saying the action was due to a 10% pay cut imposed during the peak of the pandemic not being reinstated.

It is not clear whether that pay cut will be fully reversed, and over what time scale, but unions are positive about the offer that is on the table for those employees.

If talks broke down and strikes did go ahead, BA, which operates from terminals three and five at Heathrow, has plans to cover staff, including managers potentially dealing with check-ins.

However, there would still be disruption for passengers, especially at terminal five, leading to cancellations, which would be focused on routes with several daily flights.

Tens of thousands of passengers have been hit by airport disruption and flight cancellations in recent weeks.

Hundreds of flights across the UK were cancelled during the week of the Platinum Jubilee and school half-term holidays, and concerns have been raised of further travel woes during the summer.

The disruption has been caused by factors including staff shortages that have left the aviation industry struggling to cope with resurgent demand for overseas travel.

On Wednesday, BA announced it was cutting 10,300 more short-haul flights due to feature in its schedule between August and the end of October.

Nearly 30,000 flights have been removed from BA’s schedule between April and October this year.

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