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BA and Unite union accept deal

By Thair Shaikh, CNN
An agreement between British Airways and the Unite union reduces the risk of further cabin crew strikes later this year.
An agreement between British Airways and the Unite union reduces the risk of further cabin crew strikes later this year.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Unite says it will not be calling for any industrial action following the talks
  • Agreement to be put to a ballot of 7,000 workers, with recommendation to accept
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London (CNN) -- British Airways and Unite -- the union representing many of the airline's cabin crew -- reached an agreement on Thursday, reducing the threat of strikes.

The deal, announced by a Unite spokesman, signals the end of a long-running dispute between cabin crew and the airline over pay and working conditions.

Unite says it will not be calling for any industrial action following the talks as BA agreed to restore travel concessions to staff who went on strike.

Unite said a two-year pay rise had also been agreed, giving rises of 4% this year and 3.5% next year, subject to productivity agreements.

The agreement is to be put to a ballot of around 7,000 workers, with a recommendation to accept.

Industrial action would have been called within days if the deal had not been negotiated, the Press Association reported.

Len McCluskey, Unite's general secretary, said in a written statement: "We always said that this dispute could only be settled by negotiation, not by confrontation or litigation. And so it has proved."

A spokesman for BA said: "We are very pleased the threat of industrial action has been lifted and that we have reached a point where we can put this dispute behind us."

BA's cabin crew employees have been embroiled in an ongoing wage dispute over the past two years and some 6,700 crew participated in 22-days of strikes last year.

In late March, cabin crew vote by more than 8-1 to stage fresh strikes. Of the 10,000 crew polled, 83% of the 6,981 who returned valid ballot papers voted yes to strike action. But in mid-April BA and Unite agreed a 28-day extension before any further strike action was called.