The end to 18 months of dispute could soon be made official as British Airways cabin crew vote on whether or not to accept the latest peace deal being offered by the airline. Around 10,000 members of the Unite union will receive ballot papers along with a letter from Len McCluskey, the union’s general secretary, recommending that they accept. The poll will end on 22 June.
The latest deal was announced after two previous agreements were voted down by Unite. Earlier in the month, cabin crew gathered for a meeting near Heathrow airport and agreed to put the agreement to a vote. Both BA and Unite issued encouraging statements when they unveiled the deal.
Mr McCluskey praised the carrier’s chief executive, Keith Williams, for his role in thrashing out the new agreement. It includes a new pay deal for staff over the next two years as well as the reinstatement of travel privileges for those who had them revoked after 22 days of walkouts last year. The disruption is said to have cost BA some £150 million and badly dented consumer confidence.
The deal also includes giving those staff who were disciplined or sacked because of the strikes the chance to have their cases heard by the Acas conciliation service. However, there has been no u-turn on the airline’s decision to reduce the number of crew on long-haul flights, the move which sparked the industrial action in the first place.
BA said it was glad that an end to the dispute was finally in sight.
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