UK - Strikes at the country's major airports have been averted as unions agreed terms of a new pensions deal with operator BAA.
Steve Turner, national secretary for aviation, Unite, said: "The company is clearly in some difficulty following its sale to Spanish group Ferrovial, which, coupled with the continuous, unwarranted attacks on its operation of seven of the UK's major airports, and the impact of the credit crunch, is playing havoc with its refinancing plans."
Unions had threatened to ballot for a walk out if the pensions package had not been agreed by its members.
Turner continued: "A clear majority of our members accept, however, that these changes provide the best basis for pension security long into the future while offering a decent replacement to those joining the company now."
A BAA spokesperson said the company was pleased an agreement had been reached following "meaningful consultation with the trade unions"
They added: "We believe that the changes to BAA's pension scheme will provide greater certainty for existing members, and that the defined contribution scheme for new employees is among the most competitive offered by any UK company."
Strike action was threatened earlier in the year following BAA's announcement it wanted to close its DB pension scheme to new staff (www.globalpensions.com 2 January).
BAA operates London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, plus Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen terminals.
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