Unite-British Airways deal soon

Negotiations between British
Airways and cabin crew union Unite are set to continue with hopes that further
strikes can be avoided.

A new proposal has been put on the
table by conciliation brokers Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services
for discussion. They are thought to centre on travel perks, which were
withdrawn from staff who took part in a March strike.

These issues were central to the
disruption that beset flights between Heathrow and long-haul destinations
including Grand Cayman over the course of May and June 2010.

The union recently indicated that
it may seek a further mandate from its members and would hold a vote about more
summer strikes accordingly.

Chief conciliator Peter Harwood
said that it had been a very damaging dispute for both sides.

“The proposals we have put forward
must understandably remain confidential, however, to enable the parties to
reflect on them without the glare of publicity,” he said.

British Airways and Unite chiefs
will meet imminently at an undisclosed time and location.

“Given past events, I hope everyone
understands that the timing of any meetings and their location will be kept
secret,” said Mr. Harwood, referring to an incident during previous talks when
members of a far-left group managed to infiltrate discussions, which led to
suspension of talks.

Unite
has said that any new proposals will have to end the ban on travel perks.

The last strike by British Airways
cabin crew ended on Wednesday, 9 June.

The strikes have dealt a heavy blow
to British Airways which reported record losses for the financial year ending
March 31, 2010, as well as lost a total £150 million from the 22 days of
walkouts.

BIZbaSTORY

British Airways and Unite could be close to a deal.
Photo: File

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