BA begins fresh strike talks

British Airways are to sit down with unions at the Trades Union Congress in London to avert the possibility of industrial action by its cabin staff.

A previous strike action was prevented over the Christmas period when a court granted the airline an injunction. The strike was deemed unlawful due to the Unite union having included the votes of ex-BA workers in its ballot.

That planned 12-day walkout could have affected a million passengers and would have caused problems on Cayman for travellers expecting relatives and children coming from the UK for the holidays.

Unite said it would press on with a new ballot of its 12,500 members in a dispute about reduced crew numbers, arguing that the move was a change of employment contract that would have required negotiation.

Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson are joint secretary-generals of Unite and they said in a statement that they had always believed the dispute could be resolved by negotiation.

‘We are delighted to be joining BA management in talks at the TUC. We will be approaching those talks in a constructive spirit, seeking to find a settlement that meets the real concerns of BA’s skilled, loyal and professional cabin crew, while keeping the airline flying.’

BA and Unite are due in court in February for a full hearing concerning Unite’s own move for an injunction to block the initial cuts in cabin crew.