Unite loses BA legal battle

19 Feb 2010 by BusinessTraveller

The Unite union has lost its High Court legal battle demanding that British Airways overturn a number of changes to crew contracts imposed last year, including pay freezes and a reduction in the number of crew on long-haul flights.

Unite had claimed BA should have consulted staff over the changes, but the High Court ruled that crew contracts had not been breached. A statement from BA read:

“We are extremely pleased with today’s High Court ruling that the modest changes we made to onboard crew numbers on flights from Heathrow were reasonable, did not breach crew contracts and can remain in place.

“Unite’s central demand over the last three months has been that we reverse these changes, despite the severe financial impact this would have on the company at a time when we are facing a second year of record annual losses.

“Unite’s arguments as to why the changes should be reversed have been considered in great detail by the Court – and rejected.

“Unite brought this case to Court. We believe it should reflect on the Court’s decision rather than impose an unnecessary strike on the travelling public.

“Talks continue under the auspices of the TUC.”

For its part Unite called the judgement “regrettable”, but said that it made “absolutely no difference to the substance of our dispute with British Airways”.

“We remain in negotiations with the company and hope that management will address the real concerns of cabin crew. Should they fail to do so industrial action remains a possibility.”

The results of Unite’s latest ballot on strike action will be announced at 2pm on Monday.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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