BA irons out union dispute

by Alister POOLE on May 12, 2011

British Airways and the main union it deals with, Unite, have managed to reached an agreement and settle what was a bitter and long-running industrial dispute.

Unite said that BA has agreed that it will restore travel concessions for any staff who had been on strike and will also award a new two-year pay increase worth 7.5%. In a bitter dispute that lasted nearly two years and saw 22 days of strikes, pay and perks were the main talking points. The agreement is now set to be decided by a ballot asking 10,000 union members to cast their votes.

If the new pay deal is brought in, staff are set to receive up to a 4% pay rise this year as well as 3.5% next year. Any awards are linked to productivity changes, however the exact details are still not known at this point.

Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey spoke to the press shortly after revelation of the news and told how the union will be making strong recommendations to its members that they should accept what is believed to be an “honourable agreement”. All along, McCluskey explained, we’ve always said that dispute should be settled by negotiation, and not through confrontations or litigations.

In a statement it released, BA told of the pleasure it had taken in being safe in the knowledge that the threat of further industrial action being taken is now no more. The dispute can now be put behind us all, it added.

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