13-May-2011 9:14 AM

Unite and British Airways reach agreement on cabin crew

Unite and British Airways announced (12-May-2011) they have reached an agreement to resolve the long-running cabin crew dispute at the airline. The agreement is to be put to a ballot of Unite cabin crew members over the next month, with a union recommendation for acceptance. In the meantime, the union has decided not to call any industrial action at the airline based on its present ballot mandate. Under the agreement, cabin crew will receive pay increases of 4% this year and 3.5% next year, derived from an inflation-linked enhancement plus a raise based on worker productivity (Bloomberg, 13-May-2011). Additionally, employees who were docked wages while "genuinely" sick during strike action in 2010 will also have the sum repaid, and cabin crew have been promised that they won’t lose out in a transition to a "mixed fleet" including staff hired at lower rates. [more - Unite] [more - British Airways]

Unite: “We always said that this dispute could only be settled by negotiation, not by confrontation or litigation. And so it has proved. We are delighted to have reached an agreement which I believe recognises the rights and dignity of cabin crew as well as the commercial requirements of the company. This agreement will allow us to go forward in partnership together to strengthen this great British company - good news for BA, its employees and its customers alike."

British Airways: "On behalf of our customers, we are very pleased the threat of industrial action has been lifted and that we have reached a point where we can put this dispute behind us. Our agreement with Unite involves acknowledgement by the union that the cost-saving structural changes we have made in cabin crew operations are permanent. We have also agreed changes that will modernise our crew industrial relations and help ensure that this kind of dispute cannot occur again. British Airways cabin crew are rightly renowned for their professionalism and skills. Our airline has a great future, and everyone within it intends to move forward together." Company Statement, 12-May-2011.

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