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British Airways faces fresh strike threat: union

india Updated: Jan 18, 2010 20:47 IST

Loss-making British Airways faces a fresh threat of strike action as cabin crew prepare to vote on whether to walk out in a long-running dispute over pay and jobs, union leaders announced on Monday.

Britain's biggest union Unite said 13,000 BA staff will next week begin voting on whether to strike.

BA said it was "saddened but not surprised" by Unite's decision to call a fresh ballot after the airline had successfully prevented a planned 12-day walkout by cabin crew over the recent Christmas and New Year period.

Unite today said the latest strike threat comes after union bosses failed to reach agreement with BA management over working conditions.

"We have been engaged in intensive discussions with the company over the last few days, but unfortunately we have not been able to secure an agreement yet," senior Unite official Len McCluskey said in a statement.

"We therefore have to honour our commitment to give our members the voice they were denied by the courts before Christmas, and hold a fresh ballot for industrial action."

BA, which thwarted the recent planned strike after winning a court case, said on Monday that it was in no position to back Unite's proposals as they "would actually result in a large increase in costs".

The airline added, "In an economic climate in which we are facing record losses, this approach is completely unrealistic.