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Sunday 21st of February 2010
February 19, 2010    

Unite fails in High Court bid over BA proposed cuts

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by Kay Murchie

The Unite union has been unsuccessful in its High Court action against British Airways (BA) to stop the airline from imposing cost-cutting measures.

The union claimed it was not properly consulted on the measures, which include a pay freeze and a switch to part-time working for 3,000 staff.

BA cabin crew had been set to take industrial action over the cost-cutting measures over the Christmas period but the High Court ruled that Unite had not correctly included the votes of some cabin crew who had already accepted voluntary redundancy under the airline’s cost-cutting programme.

Meanwhile, a second strike ballot is ongoing for its 12,000 cabin crew members and is to close on Monday, 22 February.

BA has admitted in the past that it is fighting for its survival and said the cost-cutting programme is part of a strategy to reduce salary costs.

Commenting on today’s decision, BA said it was “extremely pleased”. The company said: “Unite’s central demand over the last three months has been that we reverse these changes, despite the severe financial impact this would have on the company at a time when we are facing a second year of record annual losses.

“Unite brought this case to court. We believe it should reflect on the court’s decision rather than impose an unnecessary strike on the travelling public.”

The news comes just a few days after US regulators gave the go-ahead to permit American Airlines and BA to coordinate schedules and share costs.

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