Planned strike at Heathrow Airport suspended as union votes

LONDON — Officials at London’s Heathrow Airport say a planned strike has been suspended after the union representing security guards, firefighters and other workers gave its members time to consider the company’s offer.Unite union members at Europe’s busiest airport planned to strike Aug. 23-24 in an ongoing pay dispute. The airport said Wednesday the new offer gives a total pay rise of 7.8% over two years.Heathrow says the raise is higher than any other UK airport and that it “has a duty to ensure the business is sustainable —particularly against the backdrop of increasing economic uncertainty facing the UK in the immediate future.”The Unite union has confirmed a ballot is underway on the revised pay offer for 4,000 security, airside operations and passenger services staff. It closes Sept. 2.The Associated Press read more

The Latest Former UK leader Blair says put country first

LONDON — The Latest on Britain’s plan to leave the European Union (all times local):11:05 a.m.Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has warned that politicians face a critical juncture in history as they prepare to consider legislation meant to prevent the country from leaving the European Union without a deal.Speaking at the Institute for Government on Monday, Blair appealed to lawmakers to recognize that in modern British history, “there’s never been a more important moment for politicians to put country before tribe and national interest before self-interest.”Blair’s comments come as the House of Commons prepares to return from summer recess Tuesday and lawmakers are expected to try to pass a bill to block a no-deal Brexit, either by requesting an extension from the EU or some other means.Time is short before the Oct. 31 withdrawal deadline.___10 a.m.British Prime Minster Boris Johnson is getting tough with members of his Conservative Party who oppose his Brexit plans.The so-called “rebels” are being warned that they will be suspended from the party if they take part in efforts led by opposition parties in Parliament meant to block a departure from the European Union without a deal.Lawmakers are returning from their summer recess this week for a brief session that promises to be a dramatic week in British politics.They are pledging to challenge Johnson’s policy that the U.K. will leave the EU on Oct. 31, even if there is no deal. Without such a deal, Britain faces a chaotic Brexit that economists warn would disrupt trade by imposing tariffs and customs checks between Britain and the bloc.The Associated Press read more