The conciliation service Acas has said that talks between BAA and Unite union will be held as soon as possible in a bid to avert a strike action at BAA airports, such as those at Heathrow, Stanstead and Edinburgh.

Yesterday Unite members voted for strike action as the union fights with BAA over workers pay. No dates have yet been set for the strike action but Unite must give a weeks notice before any strike can be conducted.

BAA has offered a pay rise of 1.5 per cent to its workers, following a pay freeze last year. Unite has rejected the offer.

Peter Harwood, Acas Chief Conciliator said today, "We can confirm that Acas will be facilitating an early meeting of the parties once diaries can be cleared."

BAA claims that this year has been difficult one for the aviation industry, with the economy just emerging from recession and a volcanic ash cloud clouting the whole industry in Europe earlier this year.

Unite said if there was a strike it would be BAA's fault as it is a "hugely successful company" and added that no blame would rest on it or its members who are just "trying to protect their living standards".