British Airways strike enters 3rd and busiest day
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Last Updated: Monday, March 22, 2010, 19:53
London: British Airways and the union representing its cabin crew were no closer to resolving a dispute over pay and conditions on Monday as a strike at the carrier entered its third - and busiest - day.

Operations at the airline were expected to be under more strain today as there are far more flights packed in to normal scheduling than over the weekend.

The Unite union and BA have both claimed victory over the walkout that has caused the airline to cancel over half its 1,950 flights normally scheduled over the period.

BA reported that nearly 98 per cent of staff reported for work at Gatwick and more than half showed up at Heathrow, allowing it to reinstate a number of canceled flights.

However, Unite said that only 300 of its 2,200 cabin crew scheduled to work over the weekend turned up, and accused the airline of counting inbound crew to inflate the numbers of staff on duty.

BA has warned knock-on effects from this walkout will carry on throughout this week and workers are due to strike again from yesterday for four days if the dispute is not resolved.

The acrimonious dispute with its workers is expected to be financially crippling for BA - analysts forecast it could cost the airline more than the USD 95 million that Chief Executive Willie Walsh is trying to save through the changes to workers' pay and conditions.

The walkout is also bad news for Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party, which relies heavily on funding from the country's labor unions, and a gift for the main opposition Conservative Party, which is leading opinion polls ahead of a general election due within weeks.


First Published: Monday, March 22, 2010, 19:53

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