BA wins union backing for new terminal move

30-05-2007

BA wins union backing for new terminal move
British Airways (BA) has won support from 6,000 ground staff for new work regulations ahead of the move to the new terminal five (T5) at Heathrow Airport in March.

The deal with check-in staff, announced last night, completes 18 months of talks with various unions including the GMB and Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) at the flag carrier.

BA said a final staff ballot had backed the new working practices.

"Some people claimed that replacing the existing and differing working practices in terminals one, three and four with a new, single, efficient way of working for T5 would lead to disastrous conflict with our trade unions," Mr Walsh said in a statement.

"It has not turned out like that. I am delighted we have reached this milestone with the full cooperation of our unions and a workforce that is determined to make T5 an outstanding success for our customers."

Deals have already been penned with representatives from baggage handlers, loaders, tug drivers and other groups involved in ground operations.

In January a spat with T&G-affiliated cabin crew forced Europe's third-biggest airline to cancel 1,300 flights. The disruption affected 140,000 passengers and cost the firm £80 million in additional expenses and lost revenues.

BA said the airline could "look forward" to further growth, including new investment in aircraft and new onboard products. Its strong prospects have reportedly attracted Spanish airline Iberia towards joining a private-equity consortium bid for the carrier.

Shares in BA fell by 0.1 per cent on early morning trading.


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