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Thursday 25th of March 2010
March 22, 2010    

BA passengers face more disruption on third day of strike

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by Kay Murchie

British Airways (BA) cabin crew members are on their third and final day of strikes this week but there are still no signs of a resolution between the airline and unions.

Last month, BA‘s 12,000 cabin crew members voted to take industrial action over cost-cutting measures, which include a pay freeze and a switch to part-time working for thousands of staff.

However, a collapse in talks between union bosses and BA resulted in a three day strike, which commenced Saturday, March 20, while a further four day strike will commence on March 27.

According to the Unite union, 300 of the 2,200 cabin crew scheduled to work during the weekend turned up.

However, the airline said almost 98% of staff turned up for work at Gatwick, while more than half showed up at Heathrow.

Today is expected to prove extremely disruptive as there are more flights than on Saturday and Sunday.

Meanwhile, speaking on the company’s website, chief executive Willie Walsh praised staff who had come together to keep the “flag flying”

The airline 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.

But the industrial action is expected to cost the airline millions in lost revenues.

Unite union, joint general secretary Tony Woodley, is urging BA’s chairman to “stand up, take his responsibilities seriously and instigate [fresh] negotiations”.

However, while Unite said it does acknowledge the need for BA to slash costs, it said it is disappointed in the way in which the changes were introduced.

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