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UK airport strike talks to resume

Union leaders are to hold new talks with the British Airports Authority (BAA) on Monday in an attempt to avert a series of strikes that could cause widespread travel chaos in January.

A BAA spokesperson said the talks will take place at an undisclosed location after negotiations last week failed to solve the dispute over pensions.

The first 24-hour strike is due to start at 6am GMT next Monday, with another a week later and a two-day stoppage on January 17.

This will affect an estimated 1,3-million passengers at the country’s biggest airport, Heathrow in London, as well as Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The Unite union called a strike ballot to protest against BAA’s closure of its final salary pension scheme to new members.

Firefighters, and security, administrative and clerical staff are all due to strike. Unite, which represents about 6 000 BAA workers, expects the industrial action to close airports.

Its national aviation secretary, Brendan Gold, said the existing pension scheme is financially sound and should be kept. — Reuters

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