21/05/2010

BA Strike Looms As Losses Take-Off

It's double-trouble for beleaguered British Airways (BA) today as cabin crew prepare for a 15-day strike next week - while it has announced a record pre-tax loss of £531m.

BA boss Willie Walsh has urged the Unite trade union to go head-to-head with another union, the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (Bassa) as it is preventing Unite from accepting a compromise deal hammered out in the wake of seven days of strikes in March.

Bassa is on the verge of three waves of five-day strikes, starting on Monday.
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It said this is because the agreement does not include the full reinstatement of travel perks stripped from the 2,500 crew who walked out in March and does not guarantee lenient treatment for 55 other crew on disciplinary charges.

Walsh said Unite's joint general secretaries, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, had to bring Bassa into line.

Walsh accused Bassa shop stewards of taking an intransigent stance on cost-cutting negotiations.

Today's slide into the red is slightly less than the £600m feared, but brings BA's total losses for the past two years to £932m after a £401m reverse the previous year.

(BMcC/GK)

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