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Saturday 19th of June 2010
June 16, 2010    

BA and union talks collapse again

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by Kay Murchie

The latest meeting between British Airways (BA) and the Unite union, designed to come to an agreement about strike action has yet again failed, according to the ACAS conciliation service.

The fresh talks came a week after the union, which represents BA cabin crew, confirmed a fresh ballot for its members, suggesting further industrial action at the airline.

The fresh ballot will be carried out since legal protection granted to workers who go on strike lasts for 12 weeks has expired.

So far, cabin crews have held 22 days of strikes after being involved in a long-running dispute with the airline over cost-cutting measures, which include a pay freeze, a switch to part-time working for thousands of staff, as well as removing travel perks, which were stripped from members during the strike in March.

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.

The strike action has cost the airline approximately £150 million and it has been hit by a severe drop in passenger numbers, which were 14.2% lower in May than a year ago.

ACAS said both sides had been given a new set of proposals last week, but said that “regrettably” they were unable to break the deadlock and yesterday‘s meeting failed to advance talks.

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