BA cabin crew reject “final” pay offer

BA cabin crew reject “final” pay offer

British Airways cabin crew have rejected the airline’s “final” pay offer, which raises the possibility of further industrial action.

The union Unite, which represents 90 percent of BA’s 12,000 cabin crew, said that 3,419 of its members, 67 percent, voted against the revised offer, and 1,686 against.

The union leaders said they would now meet to decide the next move.

The vote marks yet another twist in the long-running saga, which started last November when BA announced it was cutting crew pay and was reducing staffing, and cost the airline £150 million.

The offer included two years of guaranteed rises in basic salary from February 2011 in addition to annual incremental pay increases.

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A Unite spokesman said: “The union will now meet with cabin crew representatives this afternoon to consider the next steps.”

Unite postponed a strike ballot last month after BA submitted a new offer. The union has chosen not to make any recommendation about the new offer, instead leaving its members to decide for themselves.

In a letter to Unite members, joint leaders Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson said: “It is up to you to make up your minds as to whether this offer is acceptable to you as a basis for drawing this prolonged and bitter conflict to a close.”

The British Airways Stewards and Stewardesses Association (Bassa), the cabin crew branch of Unite, published a guide to the offer, titled “the good, the bad, the promises and the threats”.

The good points were said to be a pay rise of 2.9 per cent in 2011/12 and a three per cent rise the following year, possible expansion of work at Gatwick airport, non-victimisation of workers caught up in disciplinary cases, and the partial reinstatement of staff travel.

The bad points included no further recruitment to BA’s current fleet of aircraft, “vastly reduced” terms and conditions for new staff, continued dismissal of staff in a “disproportionate and unfair way” and only partial reintroduction of staff travel concessions. There was also the loss of staff travel for life for involvement in any future strikes, reduced rights for workers, and attacks on Unite’s ability to comment in a “free and open” way.