Unite loses BA cabin crew cuts appeal

Unite has lost its case in the Court of Appeal against British Airways’ (BA) move to cut the number of cabin crew staff.

BA made changes to staff contracts last November so that it could remove one cabin crew worker from all worldwide flights out of Heathrow as part of cost-saving measures.

In response, Unite launched a legal challenge, which was rejected by the High Court in February.

The reduction in jobs led to the original dispute between BA and Unite and resulted in strike action earlier this year.

Last week, Unite told BA cabin crew that a peace offer was “probably the best” deal available and that further walkouts would be the only option if this offer was rejected in a BA staff ballot.

Lady Justice Smith, one of the appeal judges, said that although the reduction in crew numbers would, to some extent, affect the working conditions of employees, the “disastrous” consequences for BA would be much worse if the contract changes were not implemented.






John ReadFrom XpertHR’s Tribunal Watch

“…don’t be surprised if the cabin crew and their union, Unite, attempt an appeal in the Supreme Court.”
John Read
XpertHR employment law editor

In a statement responding to the judgment, BA said: “We are pleased with today’s Court of Appeal judgment, confirming that the modest changes we made to on-board crew numbers on flights from Heathrow 12 months ago were reasonable, did not breach crew contracts and can remain in place.

“The changes have made a substantial contribution toward easing the company’s financial position, and our crew have accepted these working arrangements without difficulty.”

A Unite spokeswoman said the union has no comment at this stage.

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