BA continues talking to unions

Talks between British Airways and unions representing check in staff at Heathrow airport broke off last night but are expected to resume again this evening.

The talks, being brokered by the conciliation and arbitration service Acas, lasted 13 hours yesterday without agreement. There are now fears of industrial action taking place over the August bank holiday, one of the airline’s busiest periods.

The dispute is over the introduction of electronic swipe cards to replace pen and paper when staff clock on for work. BA say it is a simple modernisation; staff fear the cards could lead to new job losses and split shifts.

The cards were in use for the first time yesterday and, despite expected walkouts, things ran smoothly as the airline continued to recover from the extensive delays caused by Fridays unofficial strike.

Now one of the biggest unions representing the workers has announced it will ballot its 900 staff over industrial action that could take place over the bank holiday weekend.

Union leaders called yesterday’s talks ‘constructive’ and a BA spokeswoman told the BBC that ‘some progress was made’.