British Airways cabin crew go on strike once again

UK flag carrier British Airways (BA) cabin crew has once again begun a five-day strike from today after being unable to settle a long-standing dispute with the management's cost-cutting plans in order to save on costs.

The Unite union, representing 90 per cent of the 13,400 cabin crew, is demanding that the airline, which last year posted its biggest ever loss since 1987, (See: British Airways post biggest ever loss since 1987) restore the travel concessions of the cabin crew that were removed due to disciplinary action for taking part in a series of strikes in March.

BA's cabin crew have been at loggerheads with the management since the past 11 months over the changes made in working conditions, which include a cut in the number of staff on board each flight, a freeze on pay and plans to recruit new staff on inferior terms and conditions.

The Unite union yesterday offered to suspend the strike if the airline agreed to reinstate the staff's travel perks, but the BA management refused the offer on the ground that it had already agreed to those terms in the previous round of discussions as long as other terms on issue are also accepted.

"We have already offered to reinstate travel concessions to cabin crew once all elements of our offer have been implemented,'' said BA in a statement.

"Of more concern to us is Tony Woodley's comment to the media that he wants to revisit certain proposals in our offer, when previously he had indicated that these were agreed," the statement read.