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British Airways

British Airways strike talks on hold

Steven Rothwell  Mar 10, 2010

British Airways Plc talks aimed at averting a strike by 12,000 flight attendants have been adjourned while the carrier considers a new savings plan, the Unite union said.

Unite tabled “a fresh offer,” union spokeswoman Pauline Doyle said today in an e-mail, without providing details. BA spokeswoman Cathy West said discussions are ongoing and that the company isn’t prepared to give details of where they stand.

A proposal from Unite put forward last night would deliver 63 million pounds ($94 million) in savings, according to a person familiar with the talks who declined to be identified because terms aren’t public. The plan includes a 2.6 percent pay cut for flight attendants this year, lower staffing levels on some flights and a reduction in allowances, the person said.

Unite won backing for a walkout at London-based British Airways in a month-long poll of cabin crew that ended on Feb. 22. The authorization lasts for four weeks, and the union must give the company seven days’ notice of a strike, leaving March 15 as the last day that it could bring workers out.

Len McCluskey, the union’s assistant general secretary, said March 8 that the chances of avoiding a strike in the dispute over working practices, pay and contracts for new recruits were no better than even.

McCluskey said today that he was “still in a meeting” when contacted by Bloomberg just after midday London time, the deadline previously set for an agreement. British Airways spokesman Tony Cane said that talks had continued beyond noon.

Discussions between BA and Unite have been held under the auspices of the Trades Union Congress, Britain’s umbrella organization for labor groups.

British Airways strike talks on hold
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Source: Bloomberg

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