BA cabin crew deal in doubt after union changes its mind

HOPES of an agreement between British Airways (BA) and its cabin crew faltered yesterday after the Unite union suspended a ballot on a deal offer from the airline.

Last month, Unite said it would ballot staff on a new deal from BA which seemed to address the main area of conflict, the removal of travel concessions for workers who had gone out on strike in the past year.

The dispute which began last year has so far cost BA £150m and has seen a number of walkouts led by Unite which represents around 90 per cent of the airline’s 12,000 cabin crew.

Unite had previously said it would recommend its members vote to support the deal, but it said its cabin crew representatives had now changed their mind.

“It has been made clear on many occasions that Unite and I personally will not under any circumstances recommend to our cabin crew members any offer that was not also recommended by our elected representatives,” Tony Woodley, the Unite’s joint general secretary said.

“Under these circumstances, I have suspended the ballot on the offer and will meet with all of our cabin crew representatives as a matter of urgency to consider the next steps.”
BA said it believed the deal was fair and could resolve the dispute which started after it announced it was cutting crew pay and reducing staff.