BA Talks With Cabin Crew to Continue

The Associated Press
Sunday, January 28, 2007; 6:02 PM

LONDON -- Last-minute talks aimed at averting a 48-hour strike by thousands of British Airways PLC cabin crew members will continue Monday after unions were unable to reach an agreement in weekend talks.

Whatever the outcome regarding the planned strike Tuesday and Wednesday, the airline already has canceled 1,300 flights to and from London airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick to allow customers time to make alternative arrangements.

The Transport and General Workers Union has proposed other walkouts Feb. 5-7 and Feb. 12-14 if the dispute, which centers on pay and sick-leave policy, is not resolved.

Analysts said the strike action could cost the airline between 10 million pounds and 15 million pounds ($20 million and $30 million) a day.

The airline's chief executive, Willie Walsh, was leading the company's negotiators during a meeting Sunday at an undisclosed location with union officials, including its general secretary, Tony Woodley.

Neither side commented about daylong talks that took place Saturday and Sunday. Officials said talks would resume Monday.

The union represents about 11,000 of the airline's 14,000 cabin crew members.

In an effort to persuade some workers to ignore the strike, BA was offering to allow them to report to work in civilian clothes and arrive in taxis paid for by BA.


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