BA and Unite renew hostilities as cabin crew reject pay offer

Unite has lost the "moral authority" to represent the views of its members, British Airways claimed yesterday, after cabin crew rejected what the airline had described as its final offer of a new pay deal.

The union, which represents 90 per cent of BA's 12,000 cabin crew, said 67 per cent of its members had rejected the offer. Unite said yesterday it would now meet cabin crew representatives to discuss the next step. Unite said that 3,419 members voted to reject the airline's offer of a 2.9 per cent rise next year with a 3 per cent rise the year after, while 1,686 voted in favour of the proposals. About 11,000 were balloted.

Despite the result there was some good news for chief executive Willie Walsh yesterday after it was announced that BA, Iberia and American Airlines had received approval from the US Department of Transportation to operate a joint business on transatlantic flights.

The airlines plan to launch the operation this autumn and will co-operate commercially on flights between the EU, Switzerland and Norway and the US, Canada and Mexico after the DoT gave them immunity from anti-trust rules. Mr Walsh said: "This final approval is fantastic news for all three airlines and the oneworld alliance."

But Sir Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, said millions of passengers on both sides of the Atlantic would suffer the consequences of the "monster monopoly", and that it was "a bad day for consumers".

The decision was a rare piece of good news for BA, which has lost more than £150m as a result of the bitter dispute with its cabin crew. The company tried to emphasise the positives in yesterday's ballot result, drawing attention to the turnout figures for the strike. "We are encouraged by the result of this ballot which shows that 73 per cent of our cabin crew did not reject our offer. With only around a quarter of our cabin crew voting against the deal, support for Unite is ebbing away," the airline said.

But Unite said that just 15 per cent of cabin crew had backed the proposals. Tony Woodley, Unite's joint general secretary, added: "Willie Walsh's attempt to browbeat his employees into accepting his deal has failed miserably."

The latest vote is likely to move the union towards a strike ballot, which could result in more industrial action – cabin crew have taken 22 days of strike action since March.

The dispute started last year over BA's plans to cut costs by reducing the number of cabin crew on aircraft, and intensified after the airline withdrew travel concessions from staff that went on strike. The offer dismissed yesterday had included a promise not to discriminate against staff that had been on strike, and to reinstate a number benefits that had been removed from those involved in the walkouts.

Relations worsened after BA took disciplinary action against union members following the dispute, including a number of sackings. Unite said two of its members were dismissed last week.

Unite postponed a strike ballot last month after BA tabled the new offer, but the union's leadership decided against making any recommendation on whether it should be accepted.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London