BAA's seven U.K. airports prepare for strikes

LONDON -- BAA, the company that manages seven U.K. airports, is bracing for a series of potentially crippling strikes in coming weeks.

The Transport and General Workers Union Monday confirmed its plans for the job actions after rejecting a pay offer that would have given its members salary increases of 6.3% over two years.

Tentative strike dates are: Nov. 28; Dec. 2, 10, 15 and 23; and Jan. 2. BAA operates Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

Reports in the British press say BAA is threatening to shut down airports during the strikes, but that could not immediately be confirmed at BAA's headquarters here.

A statement on the company's Web site said only that it was preparing contingency plans.

Meanwhile, BAA said its seven airports handled a total of 11.4 million passengers in October, an increase of 16.2% compared with last October, but just 2.3% more than in October 2000.

The North Atlantic market saw the largest gain last month, with an increase of 25.8%, but it remains 13.6% below the level seen in October 2000.

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