London, England (CNN) -- Union members Tuesday hailed an agreement that averted a British airport strike, saying it will "set the standard" for pay deals in the industry.
British airport operator BAA reached a settlement late Monday with the Unite union, which represents the operator's employees. The settlement averted a threatened strike by Unite workers in a dispute over pay.
Under the agreement, BAA is offering a 2 percent increase on basic pay and allowances effective from January 1, 2010, and a guaranteed lump sum of 500 pounds ($781).
Unite said it is recommending the offer to its members, who must still vote to approve the deal.
"This offer is double what BAA had originally offered, with no strings attached," Unite national officers Brian Boyd and Brendan Gold said in a joint statement. "The negotiations were tough, but Unite has delivered a fair offer for BAA staff."
Six major British airports, including London's Heathrow, were in danger of being shut down amid the possible strikes.
BAA called it "a fair offer for staff in what remains a difficult economic environment for the aviation industry. All parties brought a constructive approach to negotiations and we are sorry for the uncertainty ahead of yesterday's discussions."
Unite also has an ongoing pay dispute with British Airways that started in May.
"The game is up for employers in the aviation industry," Boyd and Gold said. "With the recession receding in the industry, Unite now expects BAA's pay offer to set the standard."
CNN's Ayesha Durgahee contributed to this report.