Unite union says BA strike to go ahead PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Unite union has told the BBC that cabin crew will strike from Monday as planned, after talks at resolving the dispute with British Airways collapsed.

Unite joint secretary Tony Woodley said there had been a "catastrophic breakdown" during Saturday's talks.

BA boss Willie Walsh earlier said he hoped the walkout could be averted.

But he was angered by the Unite union's joint leader Derek Simpson using Twitter to detail the talks as they were ongoing on Saturday.

The talks ended following an impromptu demonstration by protesters.

'Serious issue'

Mr Walsh, BA's chief executive, accused Mr Simpson of sending out tweets from the negotiating table.

"I was shocked and angry when I found out that Derek was doing that," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

"Sending out his version of events to the wider audience, that really did undermine my confidence in his desire to resolve this situation.

"It is a really serious issue."

Entries on Mr Simpson's Twitter page, dereksimpsonjgs, on Saturday included "Arguments over the 8 sacked workers," and "Fear of more sackings to come".

These were later followed by "If I have to apologise to Willy over twittering then I shall .... But I am not afraid of saying what is really going on .....".

Unite insisted "references to tweeting are peripheral to the real concerns to passengers" and that it was "ready to resume talks with BA at any time".

It is not clear what Unite was referring to when it said there was a "catastrophic breakdown" at Saturday's talks.

Mr Walsh had earlier said he hoped talks could resume on Sunday.

Conciliation service Acas, which had hosted Saturday's talks, said that "given the events of yesterday we shall not be making any public comment in relation to any discussions we are holding with the parties".

'Distraction'

The walkout starting from midnight is due to last for five days, with three further five-day strikes set to follow on on 24 May, 30 May and 5 June.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 May 2010 )
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