BA in strike pledge

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) chief executive Willie Walsh has pledged to fly 100 per cent of the airline’s long haul flights should Unite launch a third strike period later this summer.

Walsh, who gave up his £334,000 bonus in a bid to help the airline’s ailing finances, said BA would not be grounded by the strikes.

The airline will also try to fly a substantial number of short haul flights if another strike by its crew takes place.

Unite and BA have been at odds for more than six months over crew pay, working conditions and travel perks, with no agreements made by either party.

Walsh’s comments come as Unite is preparing to inform BA of its intentions to launch a third strike ballot.

The union confirmed its ballot intentions, but said further details were not yet available.

Unite has to give the airline a week’s notice of the ballot, which usually takes between three to four weeks to complete and then plan to strike seven days after the ballot is complete.

This means that should Unite launch a third ballot, strikes could hit BA during the busy August travel period.

Members from BA and Unite had been holding negotiation talks at conciliation service Acas up until late last week when they fell apart.

“Regrettably, the parties were unable to move closer to an agreement. At present there are no further meetings planned and our services remain available,” said a statement on Acas’ website.