BA strike set for tomorrow as talks fail

Cabin crew at British Airways will strike tomorrow, following the collapse of last minute talks between the airline and the Unite trade union.

Last ditch talks had entered a second day this morning, with BA chief executive Willie Walsh meeting Unite joint leader Tony Woodley face-to-face for the first time.

However, these talks have now collapsed in acrimony.

“We are very disappointed that, despite lengthy negotiations, Unite has rejected the chance of a settlement and resolved that its strikes should go ahead.

“We are confident our cabin crew would accept our latest offer if Unite put it to them,” BA said in a statement.

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Strike Anywhere

The impact of the strike around the world remains to be seen.

Workers’ unions in Australia, Germany and the Unite States have all stated their intention to support Unite, while cabin crew at Air France are planning a “solidarity strike” later this month.

Unite’s joint general secretary Tony Woodley claimed that BA “ultimately wants to go to war with this union”.

However, British Airways has pledged to fly approximately two thirds of its planned departures.

As many as 60 international airlines have stepped up to offer support to the British flag-carrier, while hundreds of replacement cabin crew have been drawn from the ranks of BA staff.

“In recent days, we have shown considerable flexibility in the interests of protecting customers from the effects of this completely unjustified industrial action.

”We have put forward proposals that would secure long-term pay protection for all existing crew, new opportunities for crew at Gatwick and modernisation of our industrial relations framework,” added BA.

Unite has questioned the training provided to new staff, suggesting lower quality crew could “damage the reputation” of British Airways.

Question marks also hang over security screening in place to monitor new members of staff, argues the trade union.