British Airways’ last-minute deal rejected by union


The planned five-day strike by British Airways (BA) cabin staff is likely to go ahead on Monday after the airline and the Unite union failed to resume talks.

The union had said it would call off the industrial action if the carrier reinstated travel concessions to staff, with co-leader Tony Woodley saying: “Let’s stop the inconvenience to the British traveling public… Let’s get the travel back on for our people, and let’s finalize a deal hopefully over these next couple of days.”

The cancellation of travel allowances for staff who went on strike in March is one of the key issues behind the five-day action due to begin on Monday.

But a day after talks between BA and Unite were halted due to protestors staging a sit-in, the two parties have failed to reach an accord, with BA expressing its disappointment that Mr. Woodley took to negotiating through the media rather than through Acas.

“We had agreed to a request from Acas to meet this afternoon and are surprised that Unite did not take advantage of this,” said a BA spokesman.

“We have already offered to reinstate travel concessions to cabin crew once all elements of our offer have been implemented.

“We call on him to call off the strike action and return to the table with Acas to finish the discussions that started yesterday.”

The airline had earlier been granted a court injunction barring the strike, but this was later overturned after an appeal by Unite.

The long-running dispute has already cost BA some £43 million, exacerbating the annual loss of £531 million (up to April) it announced last week.