Unite union takes airline pay dispute to court

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The Independent Online

The country's biggest trade union is taking a leading airline to court after claiming it "reneged" on a pay increase it said was worth millions of pounds, it was announced today.

Unite will take its case against bmi to the High Court on behalf of more than 3,000 workers, claiming breach of contract.

The union said a three year pay agreement was entered into in 2007 between Unite and bmi, providing pay rises in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The first two rises were paid but due to economic circumstances the union said it agreed to accept a deferral of the 4.75% pay rise due on April 2009 to 31 March 2010.

Unite claimed bmi has not honoured the agreement to pay the third year of the deal.

National officer Brian Boyd said: "Unite is lodging a High Court claim against bmi because the company owes its employees a long overdue pay increase.

"Staff agreed to defer the increase to help the company during difficult times but they are still waiting for the company to honour its end of the bargain.

"Lufthansa, which owns bmi is a huge airline and employees need reward for their dedication and loyalty."

A bmi spokesman said: "Constructive talks are continuing and discussions remain ongoing."

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