A series of strikes which looked set to close down Birmingham International Airport over the Christmas period have been called off, it emerged tonight.
Birmingham International Airport and the Amicus trade union announced that the industrial action had been cancelled after both sides agreed to take a dispute over the sacking of two safety workers to third party arbitration.
Amicus regional office Peter Coulson said: "The union is pleased to announce that the strike action at the airport has been cancelled.
"Following discussions last week we feel optimistic that our members' case has been strengthened and we are prepared to take this case to third party independent arbitration.
"We are delighted that we have been able to avert inconvenience to the travelling public."
An airport spokeswoman added: "The airport company and Amicus have agreed that the dispute will be referred to a process of independent binding arbitration."
Amicus members at the airport had planned to stage a series of walk-outs between December 8 and January 6 in support of their sacked colleagues.
Talks facilitated by the conciliation service Acas broke down last week after Amicus requested a #53,000 cash payment for each of the dismissed employees.
The airport's managing director, Richard Heard, has consistently stated that "serious and practical operational procedures" had been compromised prior to the dismissals.