BA Facing Legal Challenge On Cabin Crew Changes

October 30, 2009

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The Unite union on Friday launched a legal challenge against British Airways' plan to change working patterns for 14,000 cabin crew.

The union said it had started proceedings at the High Court for an injunction against BA imposing new pay and conditions on workers from November 16.

"BA is changing people's contracts and they are doing it in a unilateral way," a Unite spokeswoman said. "We want to demonstrate that in the matter of contractual changes they are breaking the law."

The union and British Airways had failed to reach agreement in talks, and the union is holding a meeting of its BA members on Monday to discuss the possibility of balloting for strike action.

"The legal action is another flank," the spokeswoman said.

British Airways said in a statement that the changes did not alter contractual terms and conditions for individual crew members.

"British Airways is facing very difficult economic conditions and is heading for a second consecutive year of financial losses for the first time in our history," it said.

"Everyone within the company knows we must reduce our costs to move back toward profitability."

(Reuters)