BA strike looms as negotiations crash

STRIKE talks between British Airways (BA) and Unite have fallen apart after the airline rejected a package of proposals from the union.

BA said the proposed 2.6 per cent staff pay cut, which Unite estimated would have saved BA £60m, “fell significantly short” of the £62.m savings they needed.

As a result of the failed talks, it is likely that BA staff could strike as early as next week after they were given until 15 March to notify the airline of any industrial action.

BA has already trained 1,000 staff members to step in as cabin crew should there be a strike so as not to disrupt their service.

A statement from Trade Union Congress (TUC), which regulated the talks, said: “Despite a prolonged period of negotiations it has not been possible to reach agreement between BA and Unite.”

The news comes as BA has been given the green light to market test it’s three way tie-in with Iberia and American Airlines after agreeing to give up four runway slots in the UK and US.

The joint business proposal from all three airlines is currently under review by both the European Union and US Department of Transport, with expectations they will be complete by mid-April.

BA has agreed to give up two daily slots from Heathrow or Gatwick to Boston, one daily slot to Dallas Fort Worth and one additional daily slot to Miami.

Should they receive the go-ahead, BA and American Airlines will be closer to achieving an integration of their businesses.

BA expects its Iberia merger to be complete by the end of the month.