Fresh strikes possible in BA row
Published 10/05/2010 | 04:42
Leaders of British Airways cabin crew are considering calling fresh strikes after the rejection of a deal aimed at ending their long-running dispute.
Members of Unite voted by 81% in a 71% turnout not to accept a proposal from the airline which would have ended a bitter, year-long row.
Union activists will press their leaders to call a lengthy strike following a series of stoppages in March which caused travel chaos for passengers and cost BA tens of millions of pounds.
BA accused Unite of "orchestrating" rejection of a "very fair" offer it said addressed all the concerns raised during 14 months of talks.
Representatives of the cabin crew will meet Unite's joint general secretaries, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, to discuss their next move.
The two union leaders said: "BA management should take note of their own employees' strong rejection of their offer and immediately address the outstanding concerns. They should make no mistake that Unite is fully committed to supporting our members in furthering this dispute if no resolution is found."
BA said in a statement: "British Airways is disappointed but not surprised that Unite has clearly orchestrated a rejection of a very fair offer that addresses all the concerns raised during 14 months of talks.
"Unlike other businesses and airlines, we have avoided compulsory redundancies. Cabin crew face no pay cut or reduction in terms and conditions, and remain the best rewarded in the UK airline industry.
"It is not too late for Unite to put an end to this dispute and support our recovery from two consecutive years of record losses and return to sustained profitability and job security for its members."
More than 7,000 union members took part in the latest ballot, with over 5,600 rejecting the deal and 1,375 voting in favour.