Gatwick Airport has been accused of “blatant opportunism” over the closure of its final salary pension scheme by trade union Unite. The attack comes as the union serves notice that it will begin balloting its 1,800 members for strike action and action short of strike from next week.
Unite has said “significant progress” has been made in moving towards Unite becoming the recognised union for British Airway’s mixed fleet cabin crew. The development brings a positive closure to a chapter in relationships between the airline and the union which saw cabin crew challenge operational changes that they feared would destroy the airline’s reputation for world class customer care.
The final nail has been put in the coffin of one of the bitterest disputes in aviation history after British Airways cabin crew voted overwhelmingly for a peace deal. Unite said members voted 92 percent in favour of an “honourable settlement’’, with 8 percent against, in a turnout of 72 percent. Almost 10,000 were balloted by the union, which declared the dispute formally over.
British Airways and the Unite union have reached an agreement to settle their two-year industrial dispute. As part of the deal BA has agreed to restore travel concessions to staff who went on strike and to award some lower-paid employees top-up payments. The agreement will now be put to a ballot of about 10,000 union members.
“Positive” talks between British Airways chairman Keith Williams and United general secretary Len McCluskey appear to have bought resolution in the long-running cabin crew dispute incrementally closer. The pair met, along with cabin crew representatives, earlier, to discuss a way forward from the two-year deadlock.
Union leaders have called for British Airways cabin crew to hold off from strikes over the Easter and Royal Wedding holidays, raising hopes of a final settlement in the long-running dispute. The two sides said that a 28-day extension had been agreed to allow for further talks, and that lasting peace was essential for the good of both parties.
Cabin crew at British Airways have voted in favour of further industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. Employees voted eight-to-one in favour of new strikes, with disruption now possible over the Easter break.
British Airways could endure strike action over Easter and the Royal Wedding after cabin crew agreed to take part in a new ballot. Unite is holding its fourth ballot in two years – with the result due to be declared on March 28. A yes vote could lead to industrial action over the peak holiday period in April.
Unite has given British Airways seven days notice of its intention to ballot crew members over possible strike action during Easter 2011. In the latest stage of its ongoing battle with the airline the trade union is seeking the immediate restoration of travel concessions lost during earlier strikes and restoration of all earnings docked from crew off sick during strike dates.
British Airways has branded Unite “dysfunctional” as the trade union confirmed it would ballot members over further industrial action at the airline. In a move designed to disrupt publicity around the merger of BA and Spanish flag-carrier Iberia, Unite said a ballot would begin in seven days.
Tensions were again rising in the battle between British Airways and Unite earlier today following the suspension of a member of cabin crew. The British flag-carrier allegedly suspended Ms Andrea Molton following attempts to collect Christmas money for fellow employees presently suspended following strike action earlier in the year.
The mastermind of the Unite action against British Airways, Len McCluskey, has been elected to lead the union following a ballot. Unite recently rejected the latest contract offer from the airline, with the battle expected to see further industrial unrest during the winter.