British Airways' shareholders 'should help end crew dispute'

British Airways' shareholders should use their influence to end a long running dispute between the airline and its cabin crew, the Unite trade union said.

British Airways' shareholders 'should help end crew dispute'

 

British Airways' (BA) shareholders should use their influence to end a long running dispute between the airline and its cabin crew, the Unite trade union said.

Cabin crew, voting until July 20 on BA's latest offer in a dispute over pay and conditions, have held a series of strikes this year, costing the airline 150 million pounds ($225 million).

The new offer from BA includes two years of guaranteed rises in basic salary from February 2011, in addition to annual incremental pay increases.

Unite, which represents 90 percent of BA's 12,000 cabin crew, will hand out letters to shareholders on their way to BA's Annual General Meeting in London on Tuesday.

"We are taking this opportunity to urge you to use your influence to help bring an end to the strife which is wrecking the airline ... It's time for cooperation, not conflict," Unite's letter to shareholders said.

A spokeswoman for BA said the union could hand out what it likes in public.

"What we have offered is fair and reasonable and provides a genuine opportunity to end this dispute," she said.

A sticking point in negotiations between the airline and Unite has been BA's removal of travel perks from striking workers.

Unite, which has made no recommendation on whether its members should vote for or against accepting the company's latest proposal, urged shareholders to question BA's board and management over the benefits of withholding this concession.

The union also warned the conflict between its members and BA could jeopardise the airline's planned merger with Spain's Iberia, which is still awaiting shareholder approval.

CCOO, the Spanish union representing Iberia employees, said it had been monitoring BA's dispute with Unite carefully.

"Although CCOO believes that the merger with BA is to the benefit of our members ... we have grave reservations over the style of management particularly in respect of labour issues," CCOO said in a statement.

"Should a similar approach be instituted within the new joint company, or imported into Iberia, then we are clear that it will be vigorously opposed." ($1=.6676 Pound)

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2010, 17:09
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