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October 19, 2010    

BA stands firm over cabin crew dispute

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by Kay Murchie

British Airways (BA) chief executive, Willie Walsh, has today said the airline is ready to operate a near-full service should further industrial action take place.

Cabin crew have been 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.

There have been reports suggesting that a fresh strike ballot is looming and, as a result, talks took place earlier this month between conciliation service, ACAS, BA and the Unite union in the latest bid to avert strikes.

So far, cabin crew members have held 22 days of strikes which has cost their airline millions of pounds.

Today, however, Mr Walsh has stood firm and said in the event of another strike, the airline proposes to run a full service at Gatwick and London City airports and all its long-haul flights at Heathrow.

Mr Walsh said he blamed the Unite union for failing to reach an agreement in this long-running disagreement.

While he added that he hopes an agreement can be reached, the airline is planning “for all eventualities” and a “very robust” contingency programme is in place.

Should a ballot go ahead, a further strike could take place over the crucial Christmas period.

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Tags: Acas, airline, , cabin crew members, , contingency programme, cost-cutting measures, operate, stand firm, strike ballot,


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