Holiday woe: UK airport staff vote for pre-Christmas strike

A union says 1,500 check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew at airports across Britain have voted to strike at the height of the Christmas holiday season in a dispute over pay.

The Unite union says workers will walk off the job for 48 hours Dec. 23 and 24 at airports including London's Heathrow and Gatwick. They are employed by air services company Swissport.

Unite said Friday that members had voted to reject a pay offer of 4.65 percent over three years.

The union urged Swissport to agree to negotiations to avert the walkout, which would cause woe for thousands of holiday travelers.

Separately, pilots at Virgin Atlantic say they will take industrial action short of a strike on Dec. 23 in a dispute over union recognition.