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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 12:43 GMT
UK airport strikes are called off
Check in at a UK airport
The worry was that more than a million passengers would be affected
Unions have called off three strikes set for January that threatened to close the UK's busiest airports.

Officials voted to halt the industrial action after airport operator BAA eased plans to alter worker pensions rights.

The strikes would have hit all of BAA's seven UK airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh.

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.

Three-pronged

The planned industrial action was in protest at the closure of final salary pension scheme to new workers by BAA 's Spanish owners, Ferrovial.

The unions involved, Unite and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCSU), had called for three strikes.

They were scheduled to take place for 24 hours starting at 0600 GMT on 7 and 14 January, and 48 hours from 0600 GMT on 17 January.

Airport operator BAA said 1.3 million passengers would have been affected by the strikes.

The first strike, set for 7 January, had already been cancelled after BAA and union officials held talks on Monday.

A plan of how to move forward was outlined at the meeting, and union officials said they would then go to their members and get them to vote on whether or not to call off the remaining to strikes.

Union officials said there would now be "proper consultations" over the future of the pension scheme.

Broad group

Unite represents about 6,000 airport workers employed by BAA, including firefighters and security staff, without whom the airports cannot operate.

Following a productive discussion, BAA and the trade unions have reached an agreement in principle

Its members also include maintenance and clerical staff.

SEE ALSO
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