A request by British Airways management for employee concessions, including a reduction of approximately 3,700 fulltime-equivalent positions in 2009, has met resistance from cabin crew and other workers represented by Unite, with some 2,000 employees represented by the union "overwhelmingly'' rejecting the airline's proposed job cuts.
The union decision comes ahead of Wednesday's talks mediated by the UK Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
Last month pilots, represented by the British Airline Pilots Assn, had proposed their own £26 million savings package, which would also allow them to become shareholders of the airline. Another 6,940 employees have agreed to unpaid work or leave that will save BA about £10 million.
A Unite spokesperson informed local media that employees "overwhelmingly rejected the company's plan, and there was overwhelming support for the union's alternative proposal," which involves two-year freezes on salaries resulting in potential savings for BA of up to £130 million.
The union has also proposed some voluntary redundancies.
BA had said that some 2,000 of its proposed 3,700 cuts would come from cabin staff.
Unite confirmed it was not threatening to strike ahead of Wednesday's meeting but warned that if talks break down it could ballot members on industrial action.