BA strike talks break down – strike on at midnight
March 19th, 2010 by elisa

British Airways cabin crew are to walk out at midnight tonight for three-days as last-ditch talks to prevent the strike broke down earlier today. A second four-day strike is planned for 27th March with 12,000 cabin crew involved.

BA has contingency plans in place in an attempt to carry 65% of passengers during this weekend’s strike. Volunteers have come forward to work on flights and the airline has chartered in aircraft to run services that would otherwise be grounded.

However, the strike, described by Walsh as “deeply regrettable”, will mean that 1,100 flights out of 1,950 scheduled will be cancelled during the first three-day walk out.

There is speculation amongst the media that there could be other underlying issues to this dispute, indicating that it is not purely a disagreement over working conditions and pay, but a wider issue of trying to run the union into the ground. In an email sent by Unite to their members today they say:

“As this dispute has dragged on it has become increasingly clear to Unite that BA wants more than cost savings. Crew offered BA savings to match those made by BA’s crew cuts. Unite believes that Willie Walsh’s end game is to destroy the crew’s union.”

To learn more about each parties’ official line on the matter, go to their websites pages. For BA click here and for the view from Unite, click here.

It would be interesting to find out what you think about the strike action, will any of you be affected by this weekend’s strike? How do you feel about the dispute? Are you particularly sympathetic to either side’s views?

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