British Airways cabin crew strike ballot postponed

Unite union has offered to postpone its British Airways (BA) cabin crew strike ballot to allow the staff time to consider the airline’s latest offer.

Unite was due to begin balloting cabin crew tomorrow unless an agreement was reached in the dispute about jobs, pay and working conditions.

The dispute has so far resulted in 22 days of strikes since March.

BA has welcomed Unite’s move, saying it was “a genuine opportunity to end” the row.

But Unite said it would not be recommending the offer as it failed to reinstate travel perks, the BBC has reported.

Last Friday, BA tabled a fresh offer, which included changes to pay structures the airline said addressed cabin crew concerns.

These include new ‘top-up’ payments and two years of guaranteed rises in basic salary from 2011.

Tony Woodley, Unite’s joint general secretary, described the offer as “interesting” and said it would be “inexplicable if we didn’t put this offer to our members at this stage”.

He said: “As a consequence of the company’s last and final offer, the union and its representatives will have no choice but to delay our vote to allow our members to consult on the offer.”

But he added the failure of the offer to restore staff travel arrangements for cabin crew “prevents this offer from BA being the breakthrough everyone seeks”.

The latest offer was made following Acas-mediated talks between BA and Unite on Friday.

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