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BA seeking High Court injunction to prevent further cabin crew strikes

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by Kay Mitchell
’BA

Last week, the Unite union announced cabin crew members at British Airways (BA) will strike for four separate five-day strikes in May and June.

The further industrial action comes after Unite members rejected a fresh deal for cabin crew earlier this month.

Unite said 81% of the cabin crew it represents voted against BA’s offer, which sought to resolve the long-running dispute over cost-cutting measures, which include a pay freeze and a switch to part-time working for thousands of staff.

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.

However, in a bid to stop the latest strikes, BA is seeking a High Court injunction to prove strike is illegal, arguing that Unite did not tell members the result of the strike ballot as soon as possible, as based on 1992 legislation.

In a further effort to prevent the strikes, the Government and ACAS conciliation service will attempt to get BA and the Unite union to reach a settlement at a meeting later today.

Cabin crew are set to walkout for four separate five-day strikes on: 18-22 May, 24-28 May, 30 May-3 June and 5-9 June.

Cabin crew staged a walkout back in March, which was said to cost the airline £45 million and the airline has faced further disruption due to the ash from the Icelandic volcano, which has cost it an additional £180 million.

However, BA has a good track record in the High Court.

Last December, the Unite union was forced to cancel 12 days of strike action over the Christmas period after the High Court ruled that the union had not correctly included the votes of some cabin crew who had already accepted voluntary redundancy under the airline’s cost-cutting programme.

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News posted: May 17, 2010

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