November 11, 2010 / 1:17 PM / 9 years ago

Union halts ballot to end British Airways dispute

LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) - The union representing British Airways BAY.L cabin crew has suspended a ballot on an offer the airline hoped would end a year-long dispute and strikes that have cost 150 million pounds ($242.2 million).

Last month, the Unite union said it would ballot staff on the new offer from BA, which addressed one of the main remaining sticking points, the removal of travel concessions for workers who had gone on strike.

The union had indicated it would recommend staff vote to support the deal, but it said its cabin crew representatives had now changed their mind.

“It has been made clear on many occasions that Unite and I personally will not under any circumstances recommend to our cabin crew members any offer that was not also recommended by our elected representatives,” Tony Woodley, the union’s joint general secretary said.

“Under these circumstances, I have suspended the ballot on the offer and will meet with all of our cabin crew representatives as a matter of urgency to consider the next steps.”

BA said when it made the offer that it believed the deal was fair and could resolve the dispute which began last November when the airline announced it was cutting crew pay and reducing staffing.

Since then, Unite, which represents 90 percent of BA’s 12,000 cabin crew, has staged a series of walkouts. (Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.6192 Pound)

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