BA strike set to go ahead after airline rejects talks

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British Airways has rejected a last-ditch proposal from pilots’ union Balpa to re-start negotiations aimed at averting strike action.

BA pilots are due to strike on Monday and Tuesday over a pay offer they say is too low.

Balpa said it would call off the strike if BA would discuss a new proposal outlined in a letter to the airline.

BA said it was open to “constructive” talks, but did not believe Balpa was acting in good faith.

The two day strike, set for next week, follows failed negotiations between the union and the airline over a pay offer of 11.5% over three years.

Unite and GMB, representing cabin crew and engineers, have accepted the offer.

However, pilots have argued that the pay award should be higher, following recent years of low pay increases and BA’s recent strong financial performance.

Earlier on Thursday, Balpa said it had asked BA to reopen talks over the new proposal, which it outlined in a letter to BA chief executive Alex Cruz.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said his members were still “very angry” with BA, but were also willing to be flexible.

“They also want to leave no stone unturned in trying to find a resolution to their dispute,” he said.

In response, BA said: “We do not believe the union is acting in good faith by making an 11th-hour inflated proposal which would cost an additional £50m.”

The airline said Balpa should return to the talks without pre-conditions. The union was acting “cynically” by waiting until a late stage when the airline had already made arrangements to manage the industrial action, BA added.

“Our customers need the certainty that Balpa will call off the strikes for good, not just for two days next week,” the airline said.

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