‘Significant progress’ could herald end to BA dispute

The
chances of averting strike action in the British Airways (BA) dispute have
improved after "significant progress" in last night’s talks between
the managers and union officials.

Baggage
handlers and check-in staff have voted to strike over pay for 24 hours next
Friday – one of the busiest times of the year. Union leaders spent more than
eight hours negotiating with airline managers to try to break the deadlock.

BA
has offered an extra £1,000 to its workers if sickness absence is halved. But
unions are unhappy that pay is being linked to sick leave.

Ed
Blisset, chief negotiator for the GMB union, said: "We have made
significant progress and I am very hopeful of reaching a resolution to this
dispute. We are within touching distance of a deal, although there is still a
little way to go."

The
company has offered an 8.5 per cent pay rise over three years.

By Mike Berry

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