Unite call off pre-Christmas strike at Doncaster's Robin Hood airport

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A pre-Christmas strike by baggage handlers and check-in staff at Doncaster's Robin Hood airport has been called off, Unite the Union confirmed this evening.

The union says the strike has been called off due to a 'breakthrough' on the pay and conditions of baggage handlers, check-in staff and ground crew employed by Swissport.

The 48 hour strike, poised to begin at 00.01 hours on Friday, December 23, would have seen over 1,500 frontline airport staff walk out at Doncaster's Robin Hood airport and 17 other airports across the UK.

Unite shop stewards will now take the offer, made at talks convened by the conciliation service, Acas, back to their members.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “That the strike is called off is obviously good news for Unite members and very welcome news for passengers.

“No worker likes taking strike action but often the threat of it is the only way to make headway in very frustrating circumstances.

“All along we have said that these workers have a powerful case. They are employed on poverty pay rates – this union says that this is not good enough and so we are determined to win them a better deal.

“That is what these excellent stewards have made headway on today.

“We now take this offer back to the members for their consideration.

“Lastly, I call upon British Airways to pay heed. This union is clearly open to reasonable negotiations. We sincerely hope you take a leaf out of Swissport’s book and meet our members halfway on what is also a very just cause, the call for a living wage and equality for these young workers.”

Robin Hood Airport and Swissport have been contacted for comment.

Unite members had voted by 62.5 per cent to reject a 4.65 per cent three year pay deal for 2015-2017 which the union describes as 'barely keeping pace with inflation'.

Unite has Swissport members at the following airports: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Doncaster, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds/Bradford, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Southampton and Stansted.