Unite and British Airways reach agreement on cabin crew

Release date: 12/05/2011

Commenting on today’s agreement between Unite and British Airways, ITF general secretary David Cockroft said: “This groundbreaking agreement brings an end to the dispute within sight, subject to the approval of the cabin crew.”

“It promises to solve the last, outstanding issues that are so important to those crew members, and is a victory for negotiation. We applaud the determination that has been shown by those workers, as well as the huge efforts to solve the problems and get the airline back on track made by Unite – not to mention the willingness to listen and move forward displayed by BA’s CEO Keith Williams.”

He concluded: “This is good news not just for BA, its personnel and passengers, but also for the thousands of aviation workers around the world who have been backing those workers throughout this dispute, and standing ready to provide further assistance.”

The ITF is a global union federation with 751 member trade unions, representing 4,669,720 members in 154 countries. Two hundred and sixty four of those unions represent workers in the aviation sector, including cabin crew, pilots, ground staff, baggage handlers and air traffic controllers. The ITF coordinated international support for the BA cabin crew and Unite union.


Please find below a news release from Unite with further information on today’s agreement:


For immediate issue, 12:00 hours, Thursday, May 12, 2011

Unite and British Airways reach agreement on cabin crew

Unite the union and British Airways have reached an agreement to resolve the long-running cabin crew dispute at the airline, the union announced today (Thursday).

The agreement is to be put to a ballot of Unite cabin crew members over the next month, with a union recommendation for acceptance.  In the meantime, the union has decided not to call any industrial action at the airline based on its present ballot mandate.

Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, who led negotiations for the union, said today:  “We always said that this dispute could only be settled by negotiation, not by confrontation or litigation.  And so it has proved.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement which I believe recognises the rights and dignity of cabin crew as well as the commercial requirements of the company.  This agreement will allow us to go forward in partnership together to strengthen this great British company – good news for BA, its employees and its customers alike.

“I am particularly pleased that staff travel concessions will be restored in full with the signing of the agreement and the implementation of the new structure for working together that we have negotiated.  A customer-oriented business can only succeed with all its employees valued and respected.

“And above all I would like to pay tribute to Unite’s BA cabin crew members.  Their resilience, discipline and determination to be treated properly has been an inspiration to all who have worked alongside them in this dispute and has been a model of twenty-first century trade unionism.  They deserve this agreement and the prosperous future at British Airways I hope it secures.”


Unite will begin the ballot of its approximately 10,000 cabin crew members imminentley with the process expected to be concluded by the end of June.

For further information, please contact Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861

To interview Len McCluskey, please interview Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 OR Liane Groves on 07793 661 657
Click here to read it on the ITF Blog

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