Unite postpones BA strike ballot
Tags: BA, British Airways, Gatwick, Heathrow, Unite Union
Unite has agreed to postpone a strike ballot in its bitter cabin crew dispute with British Airways (BA), but said there was “nil” chance it would recommend the offer to its members.
The Unite union’s joint leader Tony Woodley said any deal was “uncertain” because BA had failed to reinstate staff travel arrangements, including the chance to buy discounted flights, to crew who joined strike action in March and May.
However, BA’s offer includes two years of guaranteed rises in basic salary from February 2011, and an airline spokesman said it welcomed Unite’s decision to postpone a vote on the strike.
A spokesman for the airline, which operates flights from Luton Airport, said: “We believe our offer is fair and reasonable and provides a genuine opportunity to end this dispute.”
Mr Woodley said it would be “inexplicable” not to put the offer to its members, but added: “Failure by BA to restore travel in full means the possibility of a recommendation is nil and makes acceptance of the offer uncertain.”
The union has staged 22 days of strike action since March, costing BA around £150 million, and it was due to hold a strike ballot starting next Tuesday unless there was a breakthrough.
A top-up payment to guarantee existing crew will not lose out on route allowances when newly recruited crew begin flying in the autumn is included in BA’s new offer.
Copyright Press Association 2010