BA crew begin five-day strike

British Airways cabin crew began a five-day strike on Monday after weekend talks on a long-running dispute over wages, job cuts and working conditions broke down in acrimony.

The airline said it planned to operate more than 60 per cent of long-haul flights and more than 50 percent of short-haul flights from London’s main Heathrow Airport, allowing 70 per cent of passengers to reach their destinations.
Flights from two other London airports, Gatwick and City, were not affected by the strike. A further two five-day strikes are planned if the dispute cannot be resolved, following on from stoppages in March.
“Our operations around the world have got off to a good start this morning,” BA said in a statement.
BA said it would be leasing up to eight aircraft with pilots and cabin crews from other British or European airlines to keep passengers on the move.
British Airways CEO, Ms Willie Walsh, and leaders of the labour union Unite, which represents the cabin crew, blame each other for a breakdown in communication.
“I made an offer to Willie Walsh yesterday to put back our people’s travel concessions that he’s vindictively and foolishly taken away from them and I would personally call this strike off,” United co-leader, Mr Tony Woodley, said.
The issue of travel allowances for cabin crew has become a major sticking point in the conflict, which comes at a difficult time for BA. The airline last week announced a record full-year loss of £ 531 million. BA has suffered an additional £100 million pounds due to the disruption of flights due to Icelandic volcano. — Reuters

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