BA sued over flight perks

The bitter British Airways dispute
has taken a fresh twist after Unite announced it was taking legal action over
the removal of travel concessions from cabin crew who have been on strike.

The issue is one of the main stumbling
blocks to resolving the long-running row over cost-cutting which has led to 22
days of strike action, costing the airline more than $195 million.

Unite said it was planning to mount
a legal challenge on behalf of the staff who have had travel concessions taken
away after they went on strike.

Unite also announced it will meet
BA for fresh talks at the conciliation service Acas next week in an attempt to
break the deadlocked dispute.

Unite said in a statement:
“After careful consideration, Unite believes that management’s action
breaches European human rights legislation. It also believes that this sanction
– which has impeded the resolution of the long-running dispute – was taken
without proper disciplinary procedures being followed.”

The union said it will be giving
additional assistance to any member who suffered particular financial hardship
after having their pay docked because of the dispute.

Joint general secretaries Derek
Simpson and Tony Woodley said: “Unite remains determined to secure a settlement
to this dispute acceptable to cabin crew.

“Until such an agreement is
secured, we will continue to support our members financially and legally to
ensure that every avenue is explored to achieve justice for these loyal and
professional men and women who have been so badly treated by their

The legal action will be on behalf
of thousands of Unite members and could involve the European Court of Human

The move followed last week’s
rejection of the carrier’s final offer in a ballot of Unite members, which has
raised the threat of further strikes later in the summer.