BA faces two week cabin crew strike

BA faces two week cabin crew strike

British Airways faces the prospect of a two-week cabin crew strike from July 1 after the break down of fresh talks.

Unite union members working for the airline’s mixed fleet plan the action.

It comes after the airline refused to accept the union’s final compromise position on the outstanding issue of the “sanctioning” of striking cabin crew, Unite said.

Unite suspended a planned four-day strike, which was due to start today as part of a long-running dispute over pay and benefits, in a bid to resolve the issue through renewed talks.

But Unite voiced “deep frustration” after BA failed to send what the union described as key decision makers to the talks at the conciliation service Acas earlier this week.

The airline’s failure led to Unite writing to BA bosses with a final compromise position for acceptance by noon today.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The refusal by British Airways bosses to meaningfully consider our compromise offer is deeply disappointing.

“A resolution to this long running dispute was within the grasp of British Airways, but instead of grabbing that opportunity, bosses rebuffed it.

“It now means British Airways faces an entirely avoidable two week strike and prolonged legal action on behalf of over 1,400 mixed cabin crew.”

The “divisive” way British Airways has targeted striking members of cabin crew is unlawful and amounts to “blacklisting,” he claimed.

“The airline should be under no illusion of Unite’s intent to pursue justice on behalf of its members all the way to the highest court in the land,” added Beckett.

“We would urge British Airways’ bosses to come to their senses and think again.”

The airline has faced 26 days of strike action since the beginning of January.

A BA spokeswoman said: “As for previous periods when Unite called strikes of mixed fleet cabin crew, we will fly all our customers to their destinations.

“This proposed strike action is extreme and completely unnecessary.

“We had reached a deal on pay, which Unite agreed was acceptable. Unite has already confirmed it is pursuing the non-pay issues in this dispute through the courts.

“We urge Unite to let its members vote on the pay proposals.”

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