BAA's planned strike action is going ahead after the Unite press conference concluded with a vote three-to-one against the 1 pct pay offer on the table.

The planned strike action could close Heathrow and BAA's five other UK airports - Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton.

"We regret the uncertainty this vote has already caused our passengers and airline customers. 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." responded the airports operator.

The union responding by saying it has balloted 6185 staff including security staff, engineers, firefighters and support staff and are considering the August Bank Holiday weekend for maximum effect. They are only required to give one weeks notice in advance.

The last offer in 2002 was called off completely when a last minute deal was on the table.

Unite, who had national officers Brian Boyd and Brendan Gold, is also calling for staff to receive a £450 bonus, which had been promised to them if the company had met a certain earnings target.