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British Airways

BA receives formal notice of strike ballot

Sabine Pirone  Nov 08, 2009

British Airways Plc said the Unite union has formally notified the company of its decision to hold a strike ballot of cabin crew.

“We remain available to talk at any time and urge Unite to withdraw from its plans and resume discussions with us,” airline spokeswoman Anne Morton said today in a telephone call.

The union’s ballot will be held between Nov. 16 and Dec. 14, Unite said in an e-mailed statement. The ballot is in response to BA’s “determination to force through a package of measures,” including contractual changes without agreement of the cabin crew and their union, according to the union.

“BA’s continued failure to consult properly on 2,000 notified redundancies and the company’s determination to impose fundamental changes to working practices, work organization and terms and conditions of employment leave it no other option but to ballot the cabin crew workforce,” the union statement said. “The company’s imposed reduction to crew numbers is unfair and unworkable leaving fewer people doing more work but for less money -- and that this will hit the service to passengers.”

Europe’s third-largest airline said yesterday it had a net loss of 217 million pounds ($360 million) in the six months ended Sept. 30, widening from 49 million pounds a year earlier.

“I remain optimistic that we can manage our way through this period but, it’s absolutely clear that we must continue to reduce our cost base,” Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh said on a conference call yesterday.

BA receives formal notice of strike ballot
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