British Airways workers have lifted the threat of bank holiday strike action over Easter and the royal wedding weekend.
Staff voted in favour of strike action at last months ballot and their union Unite had until the 15th April to announce the details of what industrial action was to be taken, however BA bosses have instead agreed to let the union have a 28 day extension while negotiations continue.
The union are claiming that a deal cannot be struck until, amongst other issues, an agreement can be made on staff travel perks, pay, and a review of disciplinary procedures.
In a joint statement from BA and Unite, it was declared that strike action at this present time would ‘severely undermine any attempt at a genuine settlement’. Both companies are committed to seeking ‘an honourable and fair settlement to the long running dispute’.
The statement released by Unites general secretary, Len McClusky and BAs CEO, Keith Williams declared “Both men accept that a lasting peace is essential for the well being of all cabin crew and for the benefit of British Airways’ customers.” The statement continued “British Airways and the union have embarked already on a process of co-operation building, assisted by a highly-regarded external company.”
This ‘highly-regarded external company’ is thought to be a company that specialises in dealing with ‘fragility of trust’ and clinical psychologist Mark Hamlin is believed to have met with leaders from both BA and Unite .
It is hoped that this latest development will help build strength and trust between all parties concerned, and restore passenger faith in British Airways.
The news may not be quite so good for Qantas passengers after the airlines maintenance engineers yesterday voted 80% to strike. Qantas have promised that the walkouts will not effect the busy Easter period despite the industrial action having to begin within 30 days of the announcement.
With the extra bank holiday for the royal wedding this year, it is expected that far more passengers than usual will pass through UK airports during the Easter holiday period.