Unite Calls for More British Airways Strike Negotiations

by William ASTON on March 22, 2010

The board of British Airways has been called on by Unite, the union representing the airline’s cabin crew, to step in to help find a solution to the ongoing dispute. The cabin staff are worried over the company’s cost-cutting measures, which were introduced last year when the dispute started, making changes to how many crew are on board long-haul flights.

Tony Woodley, the Unite joint general secretary, has called on Martin Broughton, the British Airways chairman, and his fellow board members to instigate fresh talks about the cabin crew’s concerns in an attempt to prevent a second strike wave. He has also given the airline’s chief executive, Willie Walsh, a lot of criticism over what he calls is macho management technique.

Starting on Saturday, the cabin staff for British Airways started a 3-day walkout. However, they are also planned to strike again for 4 days beginning March 27, while more strike dates haven’t been ruled out yet and are dependent on if the disputing sides can come to an agreement. However, despite this call for fresh strike talks, it’s understood that neither British Airways nor Unite have talked to the Trades Union Congress’s (TUC) head, the body overseeing the meetings.

Meanwhile, the union has given encouragement to the cabin crew on strike. They are also accusing the airline of bullying and intimidating crew, which is being completely denied. There have also been some discrepancies over how many cabin staff returned for work at Heathrow Airport on Sunday, with Unite claiming that only 9 did, while British Airways says that 55% did.

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