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.
Unite said will see travel concessions returned to the BA crew from whom they were removed when they went on strike last year.
Agreements have also been made on a new pay deal, and on safeguarding routes and working practices.
Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary, who drew up the deal with BA’s chief executive Keith Williams, said: “Unite always firmly believed that this dispute would be solved not through conflict but through negotiation. Thankfully we have reached an honourable agreement with BA.
“The overwhelming acceptance of this deal by cabin crew means that both parties can now move forward together on securing a bright future for the airline.
“I want to pay personal tribute to the cabin crew for the principled stand they took. In these difficult times it takes courage to stand up for what you believe, but thousands of crew did so, at great personal expense and emotional cost.
“Their strength and sacrifice is to be admired and I hope it sends a message to employers everywhere that working with your workforce is the only way to secure productive change.”
Cabin crew undertook 22 days of strikes last year, which cost BA £150 million.
The changes made to the number of cabin crew on BA flights had given the airline an annual saving of £60 million, said the firm.
A BA spokesman said: “The skills and professionalism of British Airways cabin crew are second to none, and we are delighted this dispute is behind us.
“We have made permanent structural savings to our business, which is now ready to invest £5.5 billion over the next five years for the benefit of our customers.”
However, while BA has resolved its dispute with staff, Virgin Atlantic faces the threat of a strike by pilots.