British Airways cabin crew festive strikes suspended, Unite says

Updated: 

Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.

Members of Unite were due to walk out in a dispute over pay but lengthy talks at conciliation service Acas have led to a revised offer which will be put to a ballot of union members.

The union said workers employed in the so-called mixed crew - who have joined since 2010 - were on lower pay than other staff.

It will now put the offer to a ballot among its more than 2,700 mixed fleet members at BA.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Over the past four days, and indeed the past two years, this union has worked tirelessly to find a resolution to the issues causing our members concern.

"We now have a new offer from the company which we will now put to our members. The two-day strike over Christmas and Boxing Day is now suspended.

"It will be for our members now to decide if BA has done enough to meet their concerns.

"I want to pay tribute to our cabin crew members who have been determined to achieve a negotiated settlement.

"Their commitment to secure a better deal for all their colleagues is something we should all admire."

A BA spokesman said: "We welcome the announcement from Unite that it has called off the strikes scheduled for Christmas Day and Boxing Day."

The breakthrough comes as pilots at Virgin Atlantic are due to start a "work to contract" from Friday in a dispute over union recognition, while workers who deliver cash to Post Offices are continuing the second day of their two-day walkout.

Members of the Communication Workers Union are striking as part of a campaign against job losses, the closure of a final salary pension scheme and closures.

Union members working in Crown offices were on strike on Monday and Tuesday, and will take action again on Christmas Eve.

Kevin Gilliland, the Post Office's group network and sales director, said the company expected the "vast majority" of branches to be open on Saturday.

Adding to the unrest are workers who clean Great Western Railway trains, who are staging a fresh strike over issues including pay and conditions.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union employed by contractors Servest UK were walking out at 0559 on Friday until the same time on Christmas Eve.

The workers were due to mount a picket line at London's Paddington station.