BA braced for new strike as talks fail

A second five-day walkout by British Airways cabin crew is poised to start tomorrow after talks between the airline and the Unite union ended without agreement.

A second five-day walkout by British Airways cabin crew is poised to start tomorrow after talks between the airline and the Unite union ended without agreement.

The meeting took place yesterday as the first wave of industrial action ended on its fifth and final day.

Conciliation service Acas said talks had been adjourned and it was now trying to arrange further discussions.

Thousands of passengers suffered travel disruption this week as a result of the bitter, long-running dispute, with many more set for similar chaos next week.

Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, blamed the talks’ failure on BA’s chief executive, Willie Walsh.

Mr Simpson’s page on Twitter said: “Willie Walsh continues to block a settlement to the BA dispute – this no cost matter will cost BA millions and continue passengers’ pain.”

He offered to suspend the strike if BA restored travel perks that had been stripped from striking crew members.

He said: “Unite will repeat its offer to suspend strike action to allow final details to be sorted if BA restores travel allowances.”

BA and Unite have been locked in a row over pay, staffing and work conditions for several months.

The airline said it will increase its flying schedule next week as more cabin crew than expected had decided to work as normal during this week’s industrial action.

Its Heathrow long-haul schedule will be upped to more to more than 70% of flights (up from more than 60% this week), and its short-haul schedule from the airport to more than 55% of flights (up from more than 50% this week).

The carrier also said it would continue to fly to every short-haul destination on its network.

Unite said 121 flights out of 333 scheduled to leave Heathrow yesterday were cancelled.

Cabin crew are also set to strike between June 5 and 9, just days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa.

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