Fresh strike ballot for BA cabin crew
British Airways cabin crew are to be balloted for further strikes in their long-running dispute with the airline, the Unite trade union announced Monday.
Balloting is set to start in the next few weeks and strikes could be held from mid-January.
Cabin crew have taken 22 days of strike action this year, costing the flag carrier airline more than 150 million pounds (235 million dollars, 180 million euros).
The spat, which began 14 months ago, was originally over cost savings but has spilled over into the fields of staff travel concessions and disciplinary action.
Unite, Britain's largest union, said the airline's latest offer was unacceptable.
"BA is determined to continue with this vicious war against its workforce," said joint leader Tony Woodley.
"BA's continued hounding of union members leaves us no other option but to conduct a new industrial action ballot.
"This airline has conducted a year-long assault on cabin crew collectively and on many of them as individuals.
"We will not stand by while this airline bullies our members out of their jobs, and if it takes strike action to bring BA management to its senses, then that is the road we must, regretfully, travel."
BA and Iberia sealed a merger worth more than 6.0 billion euros (8.0 billion dollars) on Monday as shareholders overwhelmingly backed a deal to create Europe's second biggest airline.
A BA spokesman said Unite had broken its promises but said it would use its previous plans to keep flights moving at its main air hubs around London.
"Should any industrial action take place, we are confident that our well-established contingency plans will allow us to operate normal timetables at Gatwick and London City airports," he added.
At Heathrow, we will aim to run a substantial proportion of our short-haul programme and 100 percent of our long-haul operation.
"Today we have taken a big step toward our merger with Iberia. This will create a stronger business for the long-term benefit of our customers, our shareholders and our employees.
"Unite wants to lurch backwards to old-style union militancy. We are moving forwards."
© 2010 AFP