British Airways Strike Peace Talks Possible

by William ASTON on March 31, 2010

Leaders at Unite, the union that represents the British Airways cabin crew on strike, are calling on the airline to return to negotiations. The union’s joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, says that they want the carrier to help find a solution to this ongoing dispute over cost-cutting measures. However, the union continues to bash the airline.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh kind of feels the same way, calling on Unite to have peace talks. However, he has also bashed the strike, saying that it was a failure. He reported that they were able to carry over 75% of their passengers during the action, while more than 60% of their cabin staff worked.

The cabin crew’s industrial action was split into two strikes this month - a 3-day walkout from March 27 and a 4-day strike that just ended yesterday. However, Unite promised not to call industrial action over the Easter holiday, which they believe is the perfect time to return to the negotiating table. They have also threatened that if a solution is not agreed on, more strikes will come next month.

Despite the, so far, planned strikes ending, British Airways services won’t return to normal for a few days, which is expected since the same thing happened right after the first strike a week ago. The carrier says that they expect some cancellations, but a majority of their flights will operate normally, with short-haul services anticipated to be normal by Friday.

British Airways is also continuing to help passengers whose flights are canceled in the meantime. Any canceled flights after March 30 can either be refunded or rebooked - the same options given to passengers during the strikes.

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