20
Mar
10

Battle of British Airways begins as last-ditch talks collapse

NEWS
Battle of British Airways begins as last-ditch talks collapse

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NEWS••• Recriminations as airline ‘hawks’ refuse to re-table original pay offer to cabin staff / PM appeals for Unite to call off the strike, as Tories highlight Labour’s links to union.
Thirteen months of ill-tempered negotiations ended yesterday afternoon when talks broke down between British Airways and the cabin crew union, Unite. During the next three days, many of BA’s cabin crew will strike in a bitter dispute over cost-cutting and working practices. They risk the permanent loss of travel perks, while the airline has vowed to fly two out of three passengers booked to travel. The battle of British Airways has begun.

War was declared when a last-ditch attempt to seek agreement, brokered by the TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, collapsed. The union was prepared to reconsider an offer tabled by BA’s management the previous week, which included partial reinstatement of cabin crew on services to and from Heathrow as well as guarantees to existing staff. But this proposal had been abruptly withdrawn when the union announced a strike eight days ago. BA demanded that any new settlement included recovering the costs incurred as a result of the strike call. Unite rejected any such terms.
Both sides in the most serious dispute in UK aviation history expressed fury after three days of talks foundered. Tony Woodley, Unite’s joint general secretary, said the “hawks” on BA’s board of directors had prevailed.

Cabin crew strike
Unite, the trade union that represents the majority of British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has announced its intention to take strike action from 20 to 22 March and 27 to 30 March 2010.
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on 23 and 24 March 2010

• Source(s): U.K. Press & British Airways

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