BA rejects last minute Unite offer

BRITISH Airways (BA) last night rejected a last-minute offer from trade union Unite to suspend strikes set to affect thousands of passengers this weekend.

Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley said that if BA reinstated last week’s offer “there would be no reason why the strikes could not be suspended”.

BA had offered to save 184 of the cabin crew jobs earmarked for the chop, far short of the 700 demanded by the union. But the airline withdrew the offer once Unite announced strike dates.

BA last night rejected the Union’s advances outright, adding “at no stage has the union said it would recommend the offer to its members”.

The airline has outlined plans to keep 60 per cent of its flights in the air during the first three days of the strike period. It said that it would fly roughly 45,000 passengers a day.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown – whose Labour party receives funding from Unite – finally broke his silence on the dispute yesterday, saying he was opposed to the industrial action.

He said: “It would be in no one’s interest for the strike to go ahead.”