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British Airways may face 12-week strike
Sat, 19 Jun 2010 01:02:48 GMT
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The Unite union's joint general secretaries, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, at a Unite rally. (AP photo)
The Unite union plans to vote on a 12-week strike over British Airway's vindictive and unfair actions against striking workers.

The union will put further industrial action to a ballot for its members to decide whether to participate in a third wave of cabin crew walkouts. The proposed action is set for a 12-week period starting from August 3 and lasting until October 25.

This year, Unite members have walked out for a total of 22 days, costing BA more than £150 million.

Unite has accused BA of taking "vindictive, disproportionate and unnecessary" actions against cabin crew members exercising their legitimate right to strike.

Specifically, BA suspended 55 union members who participated in industrial action on March 20 and terminated travel concessions to approximately 5,000 crew members who are largely dependent on them for commuting to work.

Additionally, according to Unite, BA "has shown a disregard to its collective agreements" by bringing in "scabs" and other staff such as airline pilots to operate as cabin crew during the strikes.

The latest attempt to reach an agreement between the airline's chief executive, Willie Walsh, and Unite's joint general secretaries, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, failed on Wednesday, as the conciliation service ACAS was not successful in facilitating a compromise between the two sides.

Unite has stated, "There can be no industrial peace without meaningful negotiations and while management victimizes trade unionists and uses disciplinary procedures in a witch-hunt.”

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