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BA in legal challenge to strike

Category: Business

Published: 15th Dec 2009 15:04:05

British Airways is to take legal action to try to prevent a cabin crew strike set to begin on 22 December.

BA said it hoped the legal action would "protect customers from the massive stress and disruption" threatened by the 12-day stoppage.

It has highlighted "irregularities" in the strike ballot which it believes makes the outcome of the vote invalid.

"We do not want to see a million Christmases ruined," BA chief executive Willie Walsh said.

BA believes that ballot papers were sent to staff who had already left or were in the process of leaving the airline's employment, and therefore should not have been balloted.

The carrier said it had given the Unite union a deadline of 1400 GMT to call off the strike, but had received no response.

As well as embarking on legal action, BA said managers have been trying to establish how many cabin crew would be willing to work normally during the strike.

"We are absolutely determined to do whatever we can to protect our customers from this appalling, unjustified decision from Unite," Mr Walsh added.

"We remain available for talks with Unite at any time without preconditions."

Strong mandate

Unite announced the result of its ballot on Monday, saying that cabin crew had voted nine to one in favour of strike action, with an 80% turnout.

Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey welcomed the result as a demonstration of the strength of feeling surrounding the issue.

Announcing the ballot result on Monday, Mr McCluskey said: "We have taken this decision to disrupt passengers with a heavy heart and we are hoping that the company can still avoid it happening."

If allowed to go ahead the strike is expected to affect up to a million BA passengers travelling over the Christmas period.

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BBC News, 2009. BA in legal challenge to strike [Online] (Updated 15th Dec 2009)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/3074/BA-in-legal-challenge-to-strike [Accessed 3rd Sep 2014]

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