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BA cabin crew prepare for new strike ballot

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by Kay Mitchell

The Unite union, which represents British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has confirmed a fresh ballot for its members, suggesting further industrial action at the airline.

The news comes as cabin crew stage their final day of a series of strikes. The strikes took place on: 24-28 May, 30 May-3 June and 5-9 June.

The fresh ballot will be carried out since legal protection granted to workers who go on strike lasts for 12 weeks is set to expire later this week.

Unite could legally call another strike under the existing ballot but members would not be protected and could be sacked.

The airline has been involved in a long-running dispute with its cabin crew members 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, according to Unite, travel perks were stripped from members who went on strike in March and disciplinary action taken against more than 50 of its members.

This is one of the main reasons for the May/June strikes and the further strike action which is set to take place.

According to Unite, there has been “huge disruption” to flights during the walkouts but BA said it has continued to operate a good service.

In related news, the union’s joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, flew off on holiday to Cyprus at the weekend with easyJet.

The news angered many passengers who have faced travel chaos over the last few weeks.

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News posted: June 9, 2010

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