BA and union agree end to long-running dispute

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The Independent Online

British Airways' cabin crew are set to end their bitter battle with the airline after union members voted overwhelmingly to put a deal to a ballot.

The decision to ballot 7,000 workers, backed by a recommendation to accept, wards off a fresh wave of disruption to flights this summer.

Under the agreement hammered out by the Unite union and BA's new chief executive, Keith Williams, the airline will reinstate axed travel perks and agree to settle disciplinary action against Unite members through the independent Acas service. BA said that in return it had secured Unite's acceptance of cost-cutting measures and "modernisation" of industrial relations to ward off a recurrence of the 18-month dispute. It also includes a pay deal of up to 4 per cent this year and 3.5 per cent next year depending on hitting productivity targets.

Unite leader Len McCluskey said the airline had had a "change [of] management psyche" after its former boss Willie Walsh handed over to Mr Williams.