29-Jun-2010 12:18 PM

Unite to consider British Airways offer but ballot to go ahead

Unite stated (28-Jun-2010) a new ballot of nearly 11,000 cabin crew at British Airways will commence today (29-Jun-2010) at London Heathrow and London Gatwick and run until 27-Jul-2010. The new ballot follows British Airways' most recent offer, made on 25-Jun-2010. British Airways has offered to increase allowances for existing crew once new recruits join the carrier later this year, to drop plans to reduce benefits to fund higher staffing levels on some flights and to raise salaries for two years starting in 2011. Unite Joint Secretary General, Tony Woodley, said the fact that the new offer didn’t restore travel perks “prevents this offer from BA being the breakthrough everyone seeks”. [more - Unite]

The union has stated it would postpone any further strikes until the offer is considered. Meanwhile, it has been reported that the carrier's cabin crew are "desperate" for the dispute to end, but added they are reluctant to break ties with Unite (ABTN, 28-Jun-2010). 

Unite: "BA has made no efforts to resolve the new issues through negotiation, choosing instead to launch a confrontational recruitment campaign which will see new crew employed on poverty pay terms. The new fleet will be employed on a wage of GBP11,500, well below rivals such as easyJet, making BA cabin crew one of the 40 worst-paid jobs in the UK, and seeing the national carrier promote income inequality in the UK. The union says the company's intransigence and its astonishing, illogical assault on its own brand, employees and future leaves it no choice but to ballot its members for industrial action," Company Statement, 28-Jun-2010.

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