Cabin crew finally end BA dispute

BA finally sees off threat of industrial action
BA finally sees off threat of industrial action

By Alex Stevenson

A 21-month-old industrial dispute between cabin crew and British Airways (BA) has finally come to an end.

The long-running dispute between around 10,000 cabin crew and their employer ended when 92% voted to accept an agreement reached by the Unite union and BA in April, in a result announced today.

Seventy-two per cent of those balloted turned out to approve the deal, which sees staff who took strike action in 2010 win back their travel concessions.

Agreements on safeguarding routes and working arrangements as BA introduces a new fleet of crew, a pay deal and a commitment to binding third-party arbitration for crew disciplined during the dispute have also been approved.

"I want to pay personal tribute to the cabin crew for the principled stand they took," Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said.

"In these difficult times it takes courage to stand up for what you believe, but thousands of crew did so, at great personal expense and emotional cost.

"Their strength and sacrifice is to be admired and I hope it sends a message to employers everywhere that working with your workforce is the only way to secure productive change."

Strike actions disrupting holidaymakers' plans in three five-day strikes in the run-up to last year's general election brought the issue to the headlines.

BA lost an estimated £150 million last year and an 11.1% fall in passenger numbers in June 2010 as a result of the strikes.

In a statement issued last month when the original deal was reached, the airline said: "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."


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