Belfast Telegraph

British Airways cabin crew end 18-month dispute

By Alan Jones

The bitter British Airways cabin crew dispute finally came to an end yesterday after staff accepted a peace deal to end 18 months of conflict.

Unite said its members voted 92% in favour of what it described as an "honourable settlement", with 8% against in a turnout of 72%.

Just under 10,000 cabin crew were balloted by Unite, which announced that the dispute - one of the longest in recent history - was formally over.

Unite recommended the deal, which it said will see travel concessions returned to the BA crew who had the facility removed when they went on strike last year.

Agreements have also been made on a new pay deal, safeguarding routes and working arrangements as BA introduces a new fleet of crew.

There will also be a third party binding arbitration process established to consider the cases of crew disciplined by the airline during the dispute.

Len McCluskey, Unite's general secretary, who drew up the deal with BA's chief executive Keith Williams, said: "Unite firmly believed that this dispute would be solved not through conflict but through negotiation. Thankfully we have reached an honourable agreement with BA.

"The overwhelming acceptance of this deal by cabin crew means that both parties can now move forward together on securing a bright future for the airline.

"I want to pay tribute to the cabin crew for the principled stand they took. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe, but thousands of crew did so, at great personal expense and emotional cost.

"Their strength and sacrifice is to be admired and I hope it sends a message to employers that working with your workforce is the only way to secure change."