British Airways cabin crew laid off by the airline last year could be lured back in a bid to cover possible strike action.
Former staff have been offered six-month contracts worth £1,000 a month plus £2.40 an hour flying allowance, according to The Times. Staff would also undergo a week of training with courses starting 22 February.
Workers’ union Unite is currently balloting members on possible industrial action in a dispute over changes to pay, jobs and working practices.
If staff vote in favour, BA could face strikes next month and over Easter. Unite members voted to back a 12-day strike over Christmas, but that was blocked after BA sought an injunction from the High Court.
The airline imposed working practice changes on crew last year. It released workers on temporary contracts and also gave voluntary redundancy to about 1,000 crew members.
A spokesman for BA said: “Talks with Unite continue under the auspices of the TUC and we want to reach a negotiated settlement. However, we are offering former British Airways cabin crew the chance to come back and fly with us in the event of Unite calling a strike.
“Many of the cabin crew who worked for us during 2009 on temporary contracts have made contact with us since Unite announced its second ballot. We’re pleased to be able to offer a number of them short-term contracts to help us keep our customers flying as much as we possibly can should a strike go ahead.”
Unite is going to the High Court in a bid to get the changes to cabin crew introduced by British Airways last November overturned, claims the cost-cutting changes were imposed without it being properly consulted.
The estimated five-day hearing before Sir Christopher Holland in London will decide whether there should be a permanent injunction preventing BA from imposing cost-cutting proposals.