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Tuesday 11th of May 2010
May 7, 2010    

Further strikes possible at BA as cabin crew reject offer

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by Kay Murchie

The Unite union has said more strikes are possible at British Airways after it “strongly recommended” cabin crew members to reject the latest offer from the airline in a ballot.

The offer from BA was aimed at ending a long-running dispute over cost-cutting measures, which include a pay freeze and a switch to part-time working for thousands of staff.

According to Unite, thousands had voted and there had been an 81% majority against the proposals offered against a 71% turnout.

BA cabin crew members embarked on strike action in March and today’s news is likely to bring more travel chaos to thousands of passengers.

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.

According to BA, the strikes in March cost the airline £45 million. Over the last few weeks, the airline faced further disruption due to the ash from the Icelandic volcano, which has cost it an additional £180 million.

In the meantime, Unite will have to give a week’s notice of any new planned industrial action.

Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, Unite’s joint general secretaries, said: “BA management should take note of their own employees’ strong rejection of their offer and immediately address the outstanding concerns.

“They should make no mistake that Unite is fully committed to supporting our members in furthering this dispute if no resolution is found.”

However, a spokesperson for BA said the deal offers cabin crew “the assurances they have been asking for”.

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