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May 20, 2010    

BA strikes resume next Monday

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by Kay Murchie

It was announced today that the Unite union was victorious in appealing against an injunction, which prevented British Airways (BA) cabin crew from taking industrial action this week.

However, the union has today said it will commence a series of five-day strikes starting Monday, unless an agreement can be reached.

Cabin crew have been involved in a 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, not only are the two sides involved in the dispute over cost-cutting measures, Unite now claim that travel perks were taken away from members who went on strike in March and disciplinary action taken against more than 50 of its members.

Meanwhile, in addition to the five-day strike, which commences on Monday 24 June, two more five-day walkouts are scheduled for 30 May-3 June and 5-9 June, the last strike ending just days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa.

In a statement, BA said: “We will implement our contingency plan to keep British Airways flying.

“We are confident that thousands of cabin crew will ignore Unite’s strike call and help us fly more than 70% of the customers who were booked to fly with us in the period targeted.”

The fresh strikes will come as a blow to BA, which is expected to reveal full-year losses of between £600 million and £1 billion tomorrow.

The walkouts in March were said to have cost the airline £45 million, while it has faced further disruption due to the ash from the Icelandic volcano, which has cost it an additional £180 million.

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