Just when we thought British Airways' union problems were close to ending, a new issue rears its head. According to the Wall Street Journal, trade union Unite announced today that it will mount a legal challenge to a decision by the UK flag carrier to remove staff travel concessions from cabin crew who have engaged in strike action this year.
In a statement, Unite, which represents cabin crew at BA, said that it believes that the action by the airline's management breaches European human rights legislation.
British Airways said it would defend its position. "Staff travel is a non-contractual perk that the company can withdraw at its discretion," it said. "Our cabin crew knew that if they took part in strike action they would lose their staff travel perks."
Unite will meet BA next week for further talks under the auspices of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service in a bid to resolve the long-running dispute.
BA and its cabin crew have been at loggerheads for some 17 months over changes to working conditions that the loss-making airline says are necessary to cut costs and compete with industry rivals. Cabin crew have so far held 22 days of strikes this year.
Cabin crew last week rejected the airline's latest proposal aimed at ending the standoff, which has cost BA over $232 million.