British Airways cabin crew snubs airline’s latest offer


LONDON—British Airways PLC’s cabin crew on Tuesday rejected the airline’s latest proposal aimed at ending a long-running dispute between the two sides over working conditions that has cost BA more than £150 million ($229 million).

Some 3,419 cabin crew rejected BA’s latest offer, while 1,686 accepted. A union spokesman said the union was meeting cabin-crew representatives later Tuesday to consider their next step.

BA and its cabin crew have been at loggerheads for some 17 months over changes to working conditions that the unprofitable airline says are necessary to cut costs and compete with industry rivals. Cabin crew have so far held 22 days of strikes this year.

Unite has said BA has been hit by over £150 million in direct costs as a result of the strikes, adding that the airline has lost “nearly £900 million in lost revenue as passengers abandon BA” for competitors as they avoid being caught up by strikes and flight delays.

The union’s main complaint remains the loss of travel perks for cabin crew that went on strike. BA had offered to restore the perks, but at a cost of seniority. That was been deemed unacceptable by Unite, who warned staff would be “angry and aggrieved over the heavy-handed use of disciplinary action.”

BA’s latest offer included two changes that were meant to address cabin-crew concerns about their future earnings. It offered top-up pay to existing cabin crew to guarantee they won’t lose out on route allowances when newly recruited cabin crew begin flying in the autumn. This means all crew will receive a guaranteed minimum amount of variable pay, irrespective of the routes they fly.

The airline has also withdrawn its offer to increase staffing levels on some flights, which would have been funded by a lower allowance level.