British Airways, union talking again

Talks between British Airways and
the Unite union aimed at resolving the cabin crew strike have resumed, Unite
has said.

Joint general secretary of the
union Tony Woodley said “serious progress” had been made and
discussions would continue over the next few days.

Cabin crew went on strike for seven
days last month over pay and working conditions.

On Wednesday, BA said the strikes
cost it between $61 million -$68 million.

“It is welcome that talks have
resumed and I am pleased that some serious progress has been made over the
issues that have divided us,” said Mr Woodley.

He added that no further strike
dates would be set while the talks continued.

In its latest traffic statement for
March, BA said it managed to fly 79 per cent  of long-haul flights and 58 per cent of
short-haul flights during the strikes.

Its monthly traffic figures also
showed the airline carried 14.6 per cent fewer passengers than in March last
year.

About half of the fall was as a
result of planned winter capacity reductions, BA said.

BA and the Unite union are in
dispute over the airline’s cost-cutting plans, which include reducing the
numbers of cabin crew on long-haul flights.

Analysts say BA needs to bring down
its costs significantly.

The airline is expected to announce
the biggest loss in its privatised history when it reports its annual results
later this year. Last year it lost more than $609 million

The financial impact of the recent
strike not only includes lost revenue, but the cost of hiring in planes and
crew, as well as buying seats on rival carriers.

BIZbaSTORY

Negotiations between British Airways and union representatives have resumed.
Photo: File
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