ACAS talks set for Wednesday
Cabin crew today (July 6) rejected BA's proposals for a two year pay freeze, redundancies and new working conditions.
At a meeting at Kempton Racecourse, attended by about 2,000 of its 28,000 members at airline, they "overwhelmingly" rejected the BA package, a spokeswoman for their union Unite said.
The talks, which broke down last Tuesday, will now go before the conciliation service ACAS on Wednesday.
Reuters reported a union spokeswoman as saying: "There was an overwhelming rejection of BA's proposals, including a new rate for starters, a pay freeze and changes to crewing patterns that are quite profound."
Instead the workforce supported a union plan which it said would save the troubled airline £130m.
BA said it had nothing to add to its statement last week after the failure of the talks.
In its statement it said: "It has not provide possible to conclude an agreement with the unions on our pay and productivity discussions by the deadline of June 30.
"We have asked the conciliation service ACAS to facilitate any future meetings we might have."
A threat of strike action this summer is now hanging over the airline whose boss Willie Walsh says it is "fighting for survival."
The carrier, which announced a pre-tax loss of £401m for last year, wants a two year pay freeze, 3,700 redundancies among its 40,000 workforce and changes to working conditions.
But the two main unions, Unite, which has 28,000 members at the airline, and the GMB with 7,000, say the airline is asking too much.
During its current crisis the airline which has been hit by a drop in demand and a rise in fuel prices, has also asked staff to accept pay cuts or work for nothing for a month.
BA has already reached agreement with Balpa, the pilots' union over a pay cut which will save it £26m a year.
The union, which has 95% membership among BA's 3,200 pilots, has recommended they support the deal. The pilots are currently voting on it and the result should be known at the end of this week.
Under the agreement, the pilots will take a 2.61% pay cut and a 20% reduction in their flying time allowance.
This part of the deal will save BA £16m a year.
The second part of the deal will increase pilots' annual duty hours, bring in a shorter turn around time on short haul flights and cut crew on some long haul flights. This will save £10m a year.
In return the pilots will, from June 2011, receive BA shares worth £13m if set company targets are reached.
The pilots will not be able to sell their shares for three years.
The package also allows for 78 voluntary redundancies.
BA said last week that 6,940 staff - 17% of its 40,000 workforce - had agreed to take pay cuts, work for nothing or take unpaid leave for a month.
About 800 said they would work for nothing. The majority have opted for unpaid leave.
Mr Walsh, the ceo, said it would help achieve as much as £10m in savings.
Mr Walsh and his chief financial officer Keith Williams have both said they will work for nothing in July. In Mr Walsh's case this will mean forgoing £61,000.
www.ba.com www.unitetheunion.com www.gmb.org.uk www.acas.org.uk