Dispute over British Airways pension plan

Dispute over British Airways pension plan

Ground staff for British Airways (LSE: BAY; NYSE: BAB) voted on Monday to reject managementa��s offer of a pensions plan that had the company putting in A?280 million for the next decade plus a one-time contribution of A?800 million, with employees expected to contribute A?400 million in altered future benefits. The alterations would include such measures as a raised retirement age.

With 70 percent of GMB members voting, the vote was 68 percent to 32 percent to reject the deal. The main reason for the rejection was a perception that the plan gave preference to pilots at the expense of other employees. The pilotsa�� union has recommended the deal to its members, while the T&G, which represents 20,000 of BAa��s staff, is still consulting with members before issuing a recommendation.

The rejection came despite an announcement last week from BA that negotiations had ended with acceptance of the offer by pension fund trustees. A spokesman for BA said that the companya��s chief executive will meet with the general secretary of GMB today to talk about the vote but that the companya��s position is that a joint committee of the unions had agreed to the new plan and that the period of consultation had concluded.

GMBa��s negotiator said that the union does not want to cause any inconvenience to the public and will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the airline, but that if negotiations are not successful he could not rule out an action of some sort in the future.

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