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British Airways passengers facing 12 more weeks of strikes

Date: 17-Jun-2010

The union, which represents BA cabin crew, has written to members advising that it plans to hold another ballot on industrial action over cost-cutting by the airline.

Already this year, Unite members have walked off the job for 22 days, costing BA more than £150million.

Joint Unite general secretaries Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson said, in a message to their 12,000 members, that another walk-out could occur from August 3 to October 25.

It's believed European holiday destinations would be highly affected.

Unite said BA 'has shown a disregard to its collective agreements' by using staff from other parts of the business as cabin crew during the strikes, The Times reported.

Their letter to members said: 'The company's actions have created an unworkable environment and lashed out at the 'vindictive' and 'totally unacceptable' withdrawal of travel concessions for staff who had walked off the job.

They also complained about disciplinary action involving 55 union members.

The previous two ballots have enjoyed 92 per cent and 81 per cent support.

Conciliation service Acas said on Wednesday that it had failed in its attempt to broker a deal between BA and Unite.

BA has stepped up efforts to train more stand-in cabin crew to work alongside a team of pilots, check-in staff and baggage handlers who have been doing the job during strike periods.

Its chief executive Willie Walsh said the strike action would fail.  'At some stage in the near future we will be in a position I believe to operate 100 per cent of our long haul flying,' he said. 'It is clear that Unite have been unable to ground BA, that their strike action has failed and that they would never ground BA.'

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