BA faces strike from Monday after union wins court victory

20th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

British Airways cabin crew could go on strike from Monday after their union won an appeal against a court injunction which had prevented a planned stoppage from going ahead.

"There will be no industrial action this week," the Unite union's joint general secretary Derek Simpson said as he welcomed the High Court's judgment on Thursday.

"If it commences in the absence of an agreement, it will not be before the start of the second tranche, the dates of which have been announced."

Unite had said strikes would take place on May 18-22 -- the action blocked by the injunction -- with the second planned from next Monday until Friday, then May 30-June 3 and June 5-9.

British Airways had succeeded on Monday in obtaining an injunction blocking the first five-day strike by arguing the union's ballot of its members was faulty.

Simpson welcomed Thursday's judgment striking down the injunction as a "further opportunity... to try to find a negotiated settlement" with the airline.

BA said it was "very disappointed for our customers" that the appeal had been upheld and that the union intended to go ahead with "unjustified and pointless strikes".

It said it was confident that thousands of cabin crew would ignore the strike and that it would be able to fly more than 70 percent of its passengers during next week's planned walkout.

BA also said it believed cabin crew would accept its offer "if it was put to them in a fair and secret ballot".

Unite and BA have been locked in a bitter battle for months over pay and conditions as the loss-making airline tries to cut costs.

While they have reached broad agreement on pay, the sticking point is now the heavily discounted flights available to cabin crew -- key perks which BA has taken away from workers who have gone on strike.

© 2010 AFP

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