19-Mar-2010 12:51 PM

British Airways and Unite resume negotiations ahead of this weekend's strike

British Airways CEO, Willie Walsh and UNITE Joint General Secretary, Tony Woodley, resumed negotiations on 18-Mar-2010, where the union reaffirmed that the carrier must resubmit its last pay offer to avert its planned cabin crew strike, commencing this weekend (20-Mar-2010 to 22-Mar-2010) (Bloomberg/BBC News/guardian.co.uk, 18-Mar-2010).

  • Negotiations: Mr Walsh reportedly submitted a new offer that was rejected by Unite. Talks reportedly continued into the night, but with no plans to continue negotiations on 19-Mar-2010. It is still unknown whether a deal has been reached.
  • Suspended and disciplined staff: Also on 18-Mar-2010, Unite accused BA of bullying cabin crew staff, claiming 38 members have been suspended or disciplined for minor infractions, such as forwarding emails from private accounts. BA responded stating the accusation was “jaded”, but that it has no bearing on its talks with Unite.
  • Union support: International Transport Worker's Federation (ITF) stated it is “utterly committed to a hoped-for negotiated settlement” between BA and Unite (Dow Jones, 19-Mar-2010). Furthermore, Australia’s Transport Workers' Union (TWU) stated (17-Mar-2010) ground handling staff may refuse to load, clean and BA aircraft, stating it may not be safe to do so if unqualified staff are acting as cabin crew (The Australian, 18-Mar-2010). Unions from Argentina, Canada, France, India, Jordan, Norway and the Netherlands have now also pledged support for Unite. [more - Australia's Transport Workers Union]

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