British Air, union to hold talks over planned cabin crew strike

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British Airways aircraft taxi at Heathrow Airport near London

LONDON (Reuters) – Talks aimed at averting a planned Christmas strike by British Airways <ICAG.L> cabin crews will be held on Monday, conciliation service Acas said.

Last week, British Airways said the Unite trade union had called a strike involving one of its five cabin crew fleets on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Dec. 26.

More than 2,500 Unite members who serve as crews on long- and short-haul routes to dozens of destinations could eventually walk out. The union said last week that cabin crews had voted overwhelmingly in favor of strike action in a dispute over pay.

“BA and Unite have accepted our invitation to attend conciliation talks in respect of the cabin crew dispute tomorrow morning,” a spokeswoman for Acas said.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey welcomed the talks.

“It is only by getting round the table that we can find a solution to my members’ concerns,” he said in a statement.

“Unite will work tirelessly to defend them, to get this dispute solved and to win them the fair and decent treatment these workers deserve.”

A spokeswoman for British Airways said, ‎”We are pleased that Unite is willing to meet us at Acas. We remain focused on resolving this as quickly as possible for our customers.”

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Jane Merriman and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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