Staff at Manchester Airport cancelled a strike this month after they were offered a pay rise just before the strike was due.
Cleaners at the airport had previously been offered a 2% pay rise but rejected the increase, vowing to strike from 17th July through to 6am on 20th July. But at the eleventh hour airport employers Initial Air Services announced a 3.5% pay rise which 78% of union members accepted.
Spokeswoman for union group Unite explained that the airport employees had wanted to avoid taking industrial action and were glad when a resolution was offered.
She said: “We want to send a clear message to contractors at Manchester Airport: if they choose to impose a non-negotiated pay deal, then we will retaliate.”
Although cleaners at Manchester Airport did go into work on 17th July, thousands of local authority and public sector employees took industrial action causing disruption across the country.
In Manchester more than 84 schools were forced to close after cleaning staff, teaching assistants and midday staff staged a walkout and many of its libraries, museums, town halls and leisure centres were also shut.
With 750,000 employees protesting, the strike was hailed as the biggest walkout since the General Strike in 1926.
According to Jack Dromey, national organiser of the Transport and General Workers Union, the strike reflected a general mood of dissatisfaction with poor pay and hoped it would send a powerful message to local councillors, adding:
“Our members want fair pay, decent treatment and, quite simply, respect.”