Trouble Continues for British Airways

Following last week's announcement that British Airways would be cutting jobs and hours to reduce costs, the Unite union is writing to all British Airways cabin crew, criticizing the company's tactics. The BA plans are due to be implemented from November 16th.

The letter, signed by Unite's joint general secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, indicates that crew from both former sections of the union, the TGWU and Amicus, have "already declared for industrial action if imposition of changes occurs."

"If the threat of imposition is not removed now," the union chiefs say, "we will have no alternative but to seek an immediate mandate from you in a joint ballot for industrial action."

The union will meet with bosses this Wednesday in the presence of dispute conciliators ACAS, and is urging BA CEO Willie Walsh to reach a settlement.

Among their chief complaints is their claim that BA made an "unprecedented unilateral decision" through the press, without providing unions and staff with any advance notice. A BA spokesman said, "We are always available to talk with our unions. But the changes we have announced will go ahead as planned."