BA keen on arbitration to resolve airport staff dispute

British
Airways has suggested formal and binding arbitration as the way forward in the
baggage handlers and check-in staff dispute which threatens massive disruption
at the UK’s airports this summer.

More
than 8,000 Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) members at UK
airports are due to vote on strike action in the next two weeks.

The
GMB union has also decided to ballot its members after talks failed to resolve
the long-running pay dispute.

Following
talks with the conciliation service Acas on Wednesday, BA director of
operations Mike Street said arbitration would "allow our customers to book
in confidence with the knowledge their summer travel plans will not be
disrupted".

"We
hope that the unions will support our initiative as a genuine opportunity to
resolve our differences without the need for disruption for our customers, our
employees and our company," he said.

The
T&G said that earlier talks had been "stymied" by BA insisting on
a pay offer worth 8.5 per cent over three years, or 10.5 per cent if the money
did not count towards pensions.

By Mike Berry

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