1-Jun-2010 8:48 AM

British Airways and Unite to resume talks; Unite warns of new ballot

British Airways cabin crew held its 14th day of strike action on 31-May-2010 (Associated Press, 31-May-2010). BA and cabin crew union, Unite, reportedly plan to resume talks on 01-Jun-2010 under the auspices of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) (BBC News, 31-May-2010).

  • New strike ballot: Unite Joint General Secretary, Tony Woodley, warned (31-May-2010) that BA CEO Willie Walsh’s hard-man stance on cabin crew travel will plunge the airline into a prolonged and totally needless summer of disruption. Mr Woodley stated a new ballot for continued strike action after its last five-day strike from 05-Jun-2010 to 09-Jun-2010 may be only a week away. According to the union leader, a fresh ballot will be necessary because the 12-week protective period for taking industrial action ends in early Jun-2010, yet there has been no resolution to the dispute. The ballot should take five weeks to complete and is expected to centre around the carrier’s alleged “bullying and harassment” (guardian.co.uk, 31-May-2010). A notice of further action could reportedly be served for Aug-2010. Mr Woodley reiterated that the strike could be suspended if BA agrees to reinstate travel concessions. The union reportedly stated its strike action since Mar-2010 has now cost the carrier almost GBP100 million (The Independent, 31-May-2010). It admitted the union has paid out almost GBP1 million in strike pay, stating it would not allow BA to “starve” employees back to work; [more]
  • Schedule: BA stated operations we “very well” last week during the strike action and it has made another “good start” to the second block of the action.

Unite: “Well there is only one thing to do with bullies – that is stand up to them until they learn some manners. Willie, we all know there is a deal to be done at British Airways, one that recognises the real commercial needs and problems of your company as well as our members’ legitimate interests. Unite is ready to do that deal. But we are not, and never will, be prepared to see our members and our union humiliated, victimised and reduced to ruins, as you seem to want – never,” Tony Woodley, Joint General Secretary. Source: Unite, 31-May-2010.

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