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BA says its offer is fair and had urged cabin crew to accept it

British Airways cabin crew have “overwhelmingly rejected an offer” aimed at ending a long-running row over pay and conditions, Unite has said.

The Unite union said thousands had voted and there had been an 81% majority against the proposals offered against a 71% turnout.

Unite had “strongly recommended” its members reject the offer, raising the possibility of more strikes.

But British Airways had described the proposals on offer as “fair”

Notice period
Cabin crew strikes in March led to widespread disruption for passengers, which the airline said cost it £45m.

Further disruption to flights caused by ash from the Icelandic volcano in April cost it an additional £180m.

Unite will have to give a week's notice of any new planned strikes.

Cabin crew representatives are set to meet Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, Unite's joint general secretaries, to plan their next move.

The two men said: “BA management should take note of their own employees' strong rejection of their offer and immediately address the outstanding concerns.

“They should make no mistake that Unite is fully committed to supporting our members in furthering this dispute if no resolution is found.”

In a letter to cabin crew, before the results were announced, Mr Woodley said that BA was treating staff like second-class citizens who had been “branded” for going on strike.

'Politically motivated'
He said the union was urging rejection of the new offer because BA had failed to restore travel perks taken away from those who went on strike and disciplinary action was being taken against more than 50 union members.

A BA spokesman said the deal had offered cabin crew “the assurances they have been asking for”.

The ballot result comes a day after Duncan Holley, a leading union official at BA, claimed he was sacked for gross misconduct for taking time off work before Christmas to carry out union duties.

The Unite branch secretary said his dismissal after 12 years was “politically motivated”. BA said it would not comment on individual disciplinary cases.