British Airways to seek injunction to block strikes

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British Airways said Friday it would take legal action in a bid to prevent four five-day strikes by its cabin crew.

The airline will seek an injunction in the High Court in London on Monday, just 24 hours before the first walkout is due to start.

The announcement came hours after the conciliation service Acas said it had invited BA and the Unite union to attend peace talks to try to broker a solution to an increasingly bitter row over jobs, pay and staffing.

BA said it would attempt to seek an injunction on a technicality.

"The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 requires unions to send everyone eligible to vote details of the exact breakdown of the ballot result," the airline said in a statement.

"We do not believe Unite properly complied with this requirement. We wrote to the general secretaries of the union yesterday asking them to explain to us how they discharged this obligation and, based on Unite's replies, we believe that they failed to comply with the legal requirement.

"On this basis we have applied to the High Court for an injunction to stop the 20 days of strikes planned from Tuesday."

The airline said it made "no apology" for exploring every avenue "to protect our customers and our company from this completely unjustified strike and the union's cynical attempts to destroy our airline."

The latest planned strikes follow the industrial action which brought misery to BA passengers earlier this year.

© 2010 AFP

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