BA and Unite set for new conciliation talks

14th Jun 2010
BA and Unite set for new conciliation talks

A new set of proposals to end the dispute between British Airways and the union representing its cabin crew has been unveiled by the arbitration service Acas.

Acas’s chief conciliator, Peter Harwood, said he understood this was a “very damaging dispute for all concerned”.

He said: “The proposals we have put forward must understandably remain confidential to enable the parties to reflect on them without the glare of publicity.

“I am expecting to meet the parties again early next week but the timing of the meeting and its location will be kept secret.”

However, Unite is still preparing to hold a fresh ballot for industrial action, which could disrupt flights during the school summer holidays.


So far 22 days of strike action called by Unite union have been held, costing the carrier more than £150m.

A Unite spokesman welcomed Acas’s move, adding that there was “no wisdom in a protracted conflict”.

“Unite has always said that a dispute should be avoided,” the spokesman said.

He added: “Only a negotiated settlement will bring the peace and stability to BA that it needs.”

However Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley was less optimistic, saying he would be “pleasantly surprised” if the Acas proposals formed the “basis of a resolution”.

“We stand ready, however, for yet more discussions,” he said.

A spokeswoman for BA said: “We can confirm Acas’s statement is correct but it would not be appropriate to start commenting further at this time.

“The process is continuing. We do not give a running commentary on our discussions with Unite.”


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