Stansted strikes called off

Strikes that could have effectively shut down Stansted airport and disrupted thousands of Essex holidaymakers have been called off.

Lengthy talks between leaders of Unite and bosses from airport operator BAA led to a new pay deal which will be recommended for acceptance.

Unite said a "much improved'' offer had been tabled and workers at Stansted, Heathrow,  Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports will be urged to accept the deal.

Unite's national officer Brian Boyd said the union was calling off the threat of strikes while workers vote on the new proposal in the next few weeks.

Details of the new deal will be announced after workers have been told the outcome of the talks.

Mr Boyd, speaking outside the headquarters of conciliation service Acas, where the talks were held, said: "Unite came to these negotiations with a strong mandate for industrial action".

"The assistance of Acas has been constructive and we are pleased to announce we are calling off strike action at BAA's six airports".

"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.''

Peter Harwood, chief conciliator at Acas, said the talks had been "challenging'' but was pleased that the basis of a deal had been agreed.