BA cabin crew to vote on strike: union

8th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Thousands of British Airways cabin crew are to vote on whether to take industrial action, the Unite trade union said Saturday, in a row over job cuts and new contracts.

London - Thousands of British Airways cabin crew are to vote on whether to take industrial action, the Unite trade union said Saturday, in a row over job cuts and new contracts.

The ballot will open on 16 November and close on 14 December. Unite would have to give seven days' notice before the start of any action, so strikes could begin just before the Christmas holiday season.

More than 13,300 cabin crew staff will be balloted, with union leaders predicting a big 'yes' vote in favour of action.

"Unite have called the ballot in response to the company's determination to force through a package of measures including contractual changes without agreement of the cabin crew and their union," a spokesman said.

On Friday, British Airways revealed a quadrupling of net losses in its first half, and axed an extra 1,200 jobs in an "essential" cost-reduction programme.

BA posted a loss after tax of GBP 217 million (EUR 242 million, USD 361 million) during the six months to 30 September compared with a loss of GBP 49 million during the equivalent period in 2008.

BA suffered an annual loss of  GBP 375 million in its 2008-09 financial year, which it blamed on high fuel costs.

AFP/Expatica

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