British Airways strike is ON

 A strike by British Airways cabin
crew will go ahead after talks between the airline and the Unite union
collapsed.

A three-day strike begins at
midnight on Saturday, with a four-day strike scheduled to commence on 27 March.

BA said 65 per cent of passengers
would reach their destination during the action. Chief executive Willie Walsh
said the strike was “deeply regrettable”.

Unite’s joint general secretary
Tony Woodley claimed that BA “ultimately wants to go to war with this
union”.

A total of 1,100 BA flights out of
the 1,950 scheduled to operate during the first three-day strike will be
cancelled.

At Gatwick, all long-haul flights
and more than half of short-haul flights are expected to operate as normal.

At Heathrow, more than 60 per cent of
long-haul flights will operate, though only 30 per cent of short-haul flights
are expected to operate with the help of aircraft leased from eight rival airlines.

“Tens of thousands of BA
people stand ready to serve our passengers and BA will be flying and will
continue to fly through these periods of industrial action,” Mr Walsh
said.

He added he remained available for
talks on reaching a “sensible” agreement, but said that BA must cut
costs.

An offer they had put forward to
the union, which had not been accepted, would be “formally withdrawn once
industrial action commences”, Mr Walsh said.

Mr Woodley had called on BA to put
an earlier deal to end the strikes “back on the table” – a move he
said would allow him to call off the strike while union members considered it.

That settlement offer had included
commitments on working hours and annual pay rises in exchange for the cabin
crew workers agreeing to BA’s planned $94 million of cost cuts.

But after announcing that the
strike was still on, Mr Woodley said that BA “did not want to
negotiate”.

LOCALbaSTORY

A strike by British Air-ways cabin crew will go ahead after talks between the airline and the Unite union collapsed.
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