British Airways strikes to go ahead after talks fail

Talks between the two sides aimed at avoiding three five-day strikes over pay and conditions broke down on Saturday evening after protesters gate-crashed the talks.

British Airways strikes to go ahead after talks fail

A five-day strike by British Airways cabin crew due to start on Monday looks set to go ahead after the union said it would not hold any further talks with management, the BBC reported.

Talks between the two sides aimed at avoiding three five-day strikes over pay and conditions broke down on Saturday evening after protesters gate-crashed the talks.

Tony Woodley, the joint leader of the Unite union, was quoted by the BBC on Sunday as saying that no further talks would take place after the "catastrophic" breakdown.

A Unite spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment on the state of the talks but a spokeswoman for the airline said they were still willing to negotiate.

British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh had earlier said he was hopeful of a deal in the long-running dispute over the airline's cost-cutting drive but said the company had contingency plans in place to keep services running.

"BA will survive and we will be stronger because we are tackling the core issues," he told the BBC earlier on Sunday.

Talks between the union and BA were broken up on Saturday when protestors gate-crashed negotiations at the premises of the industrial dispute mediator ACAS in London.

The airline is trying to get a deal with Unite to save 62.5 million pounds ($89.81 million) a year.

Unions are particularly angered by disciplinary action taken by BA against striking staff and the removal of travel perks.

On Friday, BA reported its biggest annual loss since privatisation in 1987 due to the recession, bad weather and industrial disputes.


Reuters

Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2010, 10:50
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