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Tue, Jun 29, 2010

Union Says New Offer From BA Could Delay Cabin Crew Strike Vote

Company Makes "Last And Final Offer" On Sunday

Unite the union confirmed Sunday that the new offer to British Airways cabin crews could lead to the postponement of the new industrial action ballot which was set to begin on Tuesday, June 29th. "As a consequence of the company’s last and final offer the union and its representatives will have no choice but to delay our vote in order to allow our members to consult on the offer," said Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley. "The company has made it clear that the offer on the table will be removed if the strike ballot starts on Tuesday."

"It would be therefore be inexplicable if we did not put this offer to our members," he continued.

However, Unite has warned that it is not in a position to recommend the BA proposal to members because it does not fully reinstate staff travel arrangements stripped from those who took lawful industrial strike action in March and May. “The fact that staff travel arrangements have not been restored to thousands of crew prevents this offer from BA being the breakthrough everyone seeks," Woodley added. "Failure by BA to restore travel in full means the possibility of a recommendation nil and makes acceptance of the offer uncertain.”

Unite said the new proposal contains protections for existing members from the new fleet inferior contracts BA is introducing and will provide cabin crews a minimum allowance payment, an improvement to the flat fee that had been offered before.  Unite is also seeking an independent review of the cases of members suspended and sacked during the dispute.

On its website, British Airways offered a short statement announcing the delay. "Unite have announced the cabin crew ballot for the latest industrial action will be postponed," the statement reads. "We welcome today's statement from the Unite leadership. We believe our offer is fair and reasonable and provides a genuine opportunity to end this dispute. We will update ba.com when we have further information."

The consultative ballot on BA's new proposal could begin this week.

FMI: www.unitetheunion.com, www.ba.com

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