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BA looks to avoid strike negotiations

Airline re-opens talks with Unite

02 August 2010

British Airways (BA) is looking to avoid strike negotiations with Unite after re-opening talks with the union.

The airline has confirmed its final pay offer, which was rejected last month by Unite, would still form the basis of any deal.

Should the union reject a new offer, Unite are likely to hold a strike ballot for further industrial action in September.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA, claimed the firm is currently training volunteer cabin crew members as part of its contingency plan.

He said: "I want to reach a resolution but we are preparing for further industrial action. I am confident we will operate 100 per cent of our long-haul services and we are looking at the short-haul programme."

Since March, cabin crew have been on strike for 22 days as employees seek improved remuneration packages and the re-instatement of travel perks.

The industrial action, coupled with the flight disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud, led to BA reporting a pre-tax loss of £164 million for the second quarter of the 2010.

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