The never ending battle between British Airways and Unite union, which represents the carrier's cabin crew, over a new contract has been going on for over 16 months with what looks like no end in sight. In the latest chapter of "As the Airline Turns", BA has offered the angry cabin crew workers what they dubbed a "peace deal."
The new deal is an attempt by the airline to avoid further strikes and bring this ugly war over wages, benefits and travel perks to an end. Unite has given its union members until July 20 to decide whether they want to continue with industrial action or not.
If the cabin crew members turn down the latest offer, then a new set of strikes could begin as early as September. In the new deal BA has agreed to remove sanctions imposed on the cabin crew members that have walked off the job and in return the airline wants Unite to agree to represent the company more reasonably to the media in press releases and to members.
The airline has warned that if workers continue to strike they will risk losing their travel perks permanently and some of their salary. If a deal is made then BA has guaranteed a small pay raise to the workers.
British Airways is hoping this new deal works out as the strikes in 2010 have hurt the airline. BA has seen a 14.9 percent drop in traffic, which has cost the carrier an estimated $226 million in the first quarter.