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Heathrow security staff call off summer strikes

(AFP)

Security officers at London’s Heathrow Airport have called off strikes over the peak-demand summer months after voting to accept an improved pay offer, their union said Friday.

More than 2,000 staff at the airport were due to walk out for 31 days between late June and late August in a long-running dispute, but that announcement prompted fresh talks with their employer.

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“Members were balloted on the new offer and accepted it,” trade union Unite said in a statement.

“Under the terms of the deal, workers will receive an increase of between 15.5 and 17.5 percent.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham called it a “hard-won victory”, while Heathrow said it was pleased the two-year above-inflation offer had been accepted.

The proposed strike action, initially planned in phases from Saturday and Sunday, had threatened travel chaos at one of the busiest times of the year.

It involved security staff at Terminals 3 and 5, as well as campus security, who check airside workers and vehicles.

Britain has been hit by a wave of public and private sector strikes for the past year, as inflation soared and the cost of living increased.

Some 1,400 security staff at Heathrow walked out over 10 days in April, coinciding with the busy Easter getaway.

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