BA strike ends, fight continues

The strike that grounded hundreds
of British Airways flights entered its third day, with management and the union
for cabin crews no nearer to resolving their dispute.

The latest walkout ended at
midnight but the airline has warned that the after-effects will carry through
the week.

Workers are due to begin a second
round of the strike — around which will last for four days — on Saturday. The
strike is over pay freezes and working conditions.

Financial analysts predict the
three-day walkout could cost the airline more than the $97 million that CEO
Willie Walsh is trying to save through the changes to pay and conditions for

The strife is bad news for Prime
Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party, which relies heavily on funding from the
country’s unions, and a gift for the main opposition Conservative Party, which
is leading opinion polls ahead of a general election due within weeks.

The airline on Friday came out with
a compromise on a proposed pay freeze this year, offering a three per cent
increase next year and the year after and then an inflation-linked increase
beginning in 2013 capped at four per cent.

The other changes include a switch
to part-time work for 3,000 staff and a reduction in cabin crew sizes from 15
to 14 on long-haul flights from Heathrow.


A three day strike grounded hundreds of British Airways flights
Photo: File