Union says BA offer could postpone strike ballot
London, June 27, 2010
The Unite union said on Sunday that it would look to postpone balloting British Airways cabin crew on further strikes to allow union members to consider the latest offer from the airline's management.
BA made a new offer to cabin crew on Friday in a bid to end a long-running dispute over pay and conditions before the employees are formally asked to consider taking further industrial action.
The ballot over future walkouts was scheduled to begin on Tuesday but Unite boss Tony Woodley said in a statement on Sunday that he expected cabin crew representatives to confirm the vote would be delayed to give members the chance to consult on the offer.
"The company has made it clear that the offer on the table will be removed if the strike ballot starts on Tuesday," said Woodley, whose Unite union represents 90 percent of BA's 12,000 cabin crew.
"It would therefore be inexplicable if we did not put this offer to our members and I expect this course of action will be confirmed by our cabin crew representatives when they meet tomorrow."
The new offer from BA includes two years of guaranteed rises in basic salary from February 2011 in addition to annual incremental pay increases.
"We welcome this statement from the Unite leadership. We believe our offer is fair and reasonable and provides a genuine opportunity to end this dispute," BA said in a statement on Sunday.
The airline has already lost 150 million pounds in 2010 from a series of strikes. - Reuters