British Airways cabin crew start first of three five-day strikes

British Airways (BA) cabin crew have gone on strike today after talks between the airline and Unite union broke down over the weekend.

The cabin crew will walkout for five days causing major disruption to flights operated by the airline.

The strike will be the first of three five-day stoppages by cabin crew following a dispute about jobs, working conditions and pay.

Talks over the weekend to resolve the dispute ended on Saturday after protesters from the Socialist Workers Party stormed the building where they were being held. Negotiations were not resumed on Sunday.

But Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite, offered to call off the action if BA reinstated travel perks for striking staff, the Financial Times has reported.

He said: “Let’s stop the inconvenience to the British travelling public. Let’s get the travel back on for our people and let’s finalise a deal hopefully over these next couple of days.”

But the airline rejected this move and said: “This position reinforces our view that [cabin crew union] Bassa, at the centre of this dispute, is not serious in trying to come to a negotiated agreement with British Airways – and that Tony cannot control Bassa.

“We call on him to call off the strike action and return to the table with [conciliation service] Acas to finish the discussions.”

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