BA chief rules out pay talks

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With a three-day strike scheduled to begin next Wednesday, there was confusion yesterday over whether British Airways was prepared to negotiate over the pay deal it has imposed on cabin crew.

BA's chief executive, Bob Ayling (left) said that there was no question of reopening the discussion over salaries, but he would agree to outside assistance in an attempt to draw up an agreement over future relationships with the Transport and General Workers' Union, the cabin crews' union. David Hyde, a BA director, said on BBC 2's Newsnight programme, however, that there would no contraints on what a conciliator "says or does". Meanwhile talks were continuing between management and leaders of ground staff who plan stoppages in protest at the sell-off of the airline's catering division.