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Union: BA cabin crew to hold 20 days of strikes

British Airways cabin crew are to hold 20 days of strike action in a long-running industrial dispute over pay and working conditions, the Unite union said on Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

British Airways cabin crew are to hold 20 days of strike action in a long-running industrial dispute over pay and working conditions, the Unite union said on Monday.

The first action, the third wave of strikes by BA staff this year, will begin on May 18 and run until May 22. There will be further strikes on May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9.

"Passengers and investors alike will be dismayed that British Airways management rejected an approach by the union over the weekend, after their offer had been comprehensively turned down by their own employees," Unite's joint General Secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said in a statement.

"Cabin crew are left with no choice but to take further strike action," they said, adding the seven days until the first strike gave BA bosses sufficient time to reopen negotiations.

Unite said it would also hold a further ballot of BA cabin crew for industrial action over issues arising from the company's conduct during the dispute.

The union, which represents about 90 percent of BA's 12,000 cabin crew, said 81 percent of those balloted had voted against BA's latest offer last week.

BA, which last month sealed its long-awaited merger with Spain's Iberia, is aiming to save 62.5 million pounds ($97 million) a year to counter falling demand, volatile fuel prices and greater competition.

It has estimated the seven days of walkouts in March cost it 45 million pounds and that last month's volcano ash-related disruption cost it around 20 million a day in revenue.