Business

BAA 2% pay offer backed by Unite union

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Media captionUnite's Brian Boyd and Brendan Gold speak about the deal reached with BAA

The Unite union has said it is recommending that its members accept a new offer from BAA of a 2% pay rise plus a lump sum of at least £500.

The union will now ballot its members over the next few days and the result should be announced about three weeks later, Unite told the BBC.

The threat of strikes this month was averted on Monday when both parties agreed the new offer.

Union members rejected BAA's previous 1.5% offer.

The lump sum is a profit-related bonus, with a guaranteed payout of £500. However, if BAA hits its earnings targets for the year, the sum will rise to £700.

If it achieves 110% of its target, then £900 will be payable. This will be the maximum payment, regardless of how much BAA exceeds its targets.

'Tough negotiations'

A BAA spokesman said it was "a fair offer for staff in what remains a difficult economic environment for the aviation industry".

Unite said: "This offer is double what BAA had originally offered with no strings attached. The negotiations were tough but Unite has delivered a fair offer for BAA staff.

Image caption Unite is urging workers to accept the "much-improved" offer

"The game is up for employers in the aviation industry. With the recession receding in the industry, Unite now expects BAA's pay offer to set the standard."

BAA's original pay offer had been for a 1% increase, with the possibility of an extra 0.5% if the union agreed to changes to the company's sickness agreement.

But Unite members were unhappy at the offer, and earlier this month voted by three to one in favour of strike action on a turnout of about 50%.

The airport operator has argued it needs to keep costs down following a tough year for the industry, when flights were affected by heavy snow, volcanic ash and a series of strikes at BA.

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