Unite has offered to postpone its strike ballot of British Airways cabin crew in order to allow them time to consider its latest revised offer.
The union was due to begin balloting on Tuesday unless there was a breakthrough in the dispute, which has seen 22 days of strike action since March.
BA welcomed Unite’s move calling it “a genuine opportunity to end” the row.
But the Unite leader Tony Woodley said he would not be recommending the offer as it failed to reinstate travel perks. Good god man take the offer and bedone with it..
The public mood might also have changed since last week’s ‘unavoidable budget’ which imposes swingeing cuts on most sectors of society. Millions will see their wages frozen or benefits cut while a strike persists at an airline over discounted flights for its staff.
Mr Woodley told the BBC: “As a consequence of the company’s last and final offer the union and its representatives will have no choice but to delay our vote in order to allow our members to consult on the offer.”
On Sunday Mr Woodley, Unite’s joint general secretary, described the offer as “interesting” and said it would be “inexplicable if we didn’t put this offer to our members at this stage”.
However, BA has withdrawn travel concessions for striking cabin crew, and Mr Woodley said the reinstatement of these was still central to resolving the dispute.
BA employs about 13,000 cabin crew and about half of them have been on strike for 22 days. That’s cost them thousands of pounds each in lost pay, and driven a wedge between them and colleagues who continued to work.
BA hopes staff will carefully consider this revised offer to end this eight month dispute. But the language from Unite’s Tony Woodley was not encouraging, nor indeed the mood music from the Idiots as the BASSA branch which represents BA cabin crew within Unite.
The ballot, I fear, is only temporarily suspended because the thorny issue of travel perks has not been addressed. If Willie Walsh (BA Chief Executive) restores these perks to those who went out on strike he will alienate the other half of BA which didn’t. Fail to restore them and he will have to limp on as boss of a bitterly divided airline.
But he said that failure to restore staff travel arrangements for cabin crew “prevents this offer from BA being the breakthrough everyone seeks”.