BAA workers have voted for strikes that could close Heathrow and five other UK airports, action that would bring chaos to the travel plans of nearly 300,000 people a day.

Staff voted three-to-one vote to strike after Unite rejected a 1% pay offer from airport operator BAA.

Any strikes will close down BAA airports, which also include Southampton, Edinburgh, Stansted, Glasgow and Aberdeen, as essential staff including firefighters and security staff have voted to take part in the action.

Brian Boyd, Unite’s national officer for civil aviation, said: “Strike action is the last resort to stop our members’ living standards falling for the second year in a row.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken out against the BAA strike, saying:

“These sorts of strikes never achieve anything apart from damage – damage to business, damage to jobs, damage to the interests of tourists who want to come to visit Britain, or people who want to leave Britain and have a holiday overseas,” he told reporters at No 10 Downing St.

Despite worker’s vote in its favour, the strike may still be prevented though.  BAA said: “Fewer than half of those people eligible to vote have done so and we do not believe this result provides a clear mandate for strike action.”

If the BAA strike does go ahead, the earliest date it could start is in a week’s time, on Thursday, 19 August.

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Tags: BAA ballot, Strike action, Strike vote, strike ballot, travel warning, travel chaos