The threat of industrial action against British Airways was lifted today following agreement with its unions on a three year pay deal. The company has agreed a back-dated 8.5 per cent pay increase over three years and £1,000 payable in lump sum payments between now and September 2006.
As a result, the two unions representing British Airways’ baggage handlers, check-in agents and ground staff - the TGWU and GMB - have called off planned industrial action for the August Bank Holiday weekend. The agreement of the unions, which also includes Amicus, is subject to consultation with their members.
The agreement follows an acceptance by the unions of a robust absence policy to be introduced with immediate effect. The policy targets a reduction in current absence from an average of 17 days per employee down to 10 days within 12 months.
Mike Street, director of customer service and operations, said: “I am delighted our customers can now look forward to their holidays without fear of strike action.
“The new agreed policy on absence is tough on those persistently absent while remaining compassionate towards the genuinely sick.
“We can afford this three year deal because of the new absence policy, which we estimate will save British Airways £30 million a year.”
The new policy will closely monitor individuals’ pattern of absence within set time periods. Those with persistent patterns of absence not linked to genuine illness will be liable to disciplinary action.