By Jason Theodorou

Strike action at six major UK airports has been avoided, after crucial talks between Unite, the union, and BAA bosses resulted in a new pay deal for airport staff. Union members will be presented with the pay deal, which will affect staff at Stansted, Heathrow, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton and Aberdeen airports.

Brian Boyd, national officer for Unite, said that the union had called off the threat of strikes as workers voted on the new proposal. He said: 'Unite's negotiating committee will recommend a much-improved offer from BAA. Details of the agreement will be made public once BAA staff have been advised of the improved offer'.

BAA originally offered a 1% pay rise to staff, but Unite sought a pay rise closer to 2.5%.

Engineers, security staff and firefighters had voted to strike, which could have led to the closure of UK airports close to the August Bank Holiday period. Brendan Gold, National Secretary at Unite, said that BAA had offered a 'much improved' deal for airport workers.

Peter Harwood, chief conciliator at Acas, said the nine hours of talks had been 'challenging' but had resulted in the basis of a deal. BAA said that they are 'confident' that union members will accept a deal, and passengers travelling over the holiday period will do so with the certainty that their journeys will not be disrupted.

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