Strike threat recedes as BA nears union deal

BRITISH Airways and the union representing its cabin crew are moving closer to a peace deal, with a branch of the union claiming a deal could be reached as early as this week.

“We did have talks with BA and conciliation service Acas last Friday, we did make some progress and we hope to reconvene to continue talking later this week,” a Unite spokeswoman said yesterday.

The Unite union, which represents 90 per cent of BA’s 12,000 cabin crew, has been embroiled in a year-long dispute with the airline, which has resulted in a series of strikes costing BA £150m.

Unite’s main cabin crew branch, Bassa, told members in an email last week that Tony Woodley, Unite’s general secretary, hoped to finally reach agreement with BA this week.

“We have been informed that Tony believes that he should be able to conclude a new proposal, with significant changes, by the middle of next week at the latest,” Bassa’s email to members said.

A key sticking point in resolving the dispute, which originally centred around cuts to pay and staffing levels, has been BA’s decision to remove travel perks from cabin crew who took part in the strikes.