British Airways (BA) saddened by news of another cabin crew strike ballot

PUBLISHED: 10:45 19 January 2010 | UPDATED: 22:07 31 May 2010

BRITISH Airways (BA) has said it is saddened by the news that trade union Unite is hold another strike ballot.

The airline said that the decision, foreshadowed in a letter to cabin crew on January 8, calls into question its good faith in the negotiation

BRITISH Airways (BA) has said it is "saddened" by the news that trade union Unite is hold another strike ballot.

The airline said that the decision, foreshadowed in a letter to cabin crew on January 8, calls into question its good faith in the negotiations that took part last week in an effort to reach a settlement without disruption. Nonetheless, BA remains available for talks at any time without preconditions.

BA said that over the past year, many staff have made significant contributions toward the company's vital programme of permanent cost reduction. BA regrets that Unite, on behalf of its cabin crew members, has as yet offered no more than empty gestures.

BA has said it will not allow Unite to ruin the airline - and believes it has the support of its customers and the vast majority of our colleagues in that objective.

Len McCluskey, assistant general secretary of Unite, who has led the talks for Unite this year said: "We have been engaged in intensive discussions with the company over the last few days, but unfortunately we have not been able to secure an agreement yet.

"We therefore have to honour our commitment to give our members the voice they were denied by the courts before Christmas, and hold a fresh ballot for industrial action. In notifying the company of this, I have reiterated that we want talks to continue, and that the union is prepared to meet any place, any time, to try and reach an agreement which addresses the real concerns of BA's skilled, loyal and professional employees while giving the company the savings it needs to stay airborne.

"We have told management all along that this dispute, and the damage it does to BA's prospects, can only finally be resolved through negotiation. That remains our position, and I hope the company will make the best use of the time available before the ballot closes."

The ballot will open on January 25 and close on February 22.

If strike dates are announced BA says customers booked to travel during that period will be able to rebook, free of charge and subject to availability, onto other British Airways flights outside of the strike period for up to 12 months from the original date of travel.

Refunds will be available if flights are actually cancelled.

In the event that cancellations are made due to strike action customers booked to travel during that period will be able to:

* Rebook onto another British Airways flight within 12 months of the original date of travel

* Rebook onto another British Airways flight to/from the nearest alternative airport (for example, if booked to/from Boston you could rebook to/from Philadelphia or New York)

* Cancel your booking and get a refund.

* All rebooking options will be subject to availability.

More detailed information about rebooking options, including specific dates covered by these guidelines will be made available if a strike is announced.

Normal conditions of carriage will apply for any flights that are cancelled outside of the strike period.

British Airways Executive Club members will continue to earn Tier Points and BA Miles for flights cancelled due to any strike action.

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