British Airways faces more strikes as talks halt

British Airways (BA) is facing further industrial unrest by cabin crew after the latest attempt to forge peace with the Unite trade union failed.

The Acas conciliation service said a renewed attempt to bring both sides together had failed, paving the way for another strike ballot of 11,000 BA flight attendants, who have already embarked on 22 days of strikes this year, the Guardian has reported.

If Unite pushes ahead and cabin crew vote for further industrial action, then a new wave of strikes is possible from the first week of August onward.

“At present, there are no further meetings planned but Acas will monitor developments and our services remain available,” said Acas.

A new ballot will test the resolve of cabin crew, who have so far voted resoundingly for strike action, with a majority of 92.5% and 81% in two votes. However, BA will be keen to see whether a pledge to strip strikers of discounted air fares and flying a strike-breaking schedule will influence voting intentions this time.

This month, Unite’s assistant general secretary, Len McCluskey, urged BA to seek an “honourable” settlement in a dispute over staff cuts that has mutated into a row over the treatment of strikers and the use of auxiliary crew. BA said yesterday it was willing to meet for further talks.

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