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British Airways Reaches Long-Awaited Deal with Pilot Union
After a long dispute over pay and working conditions, British Airways has reached a deal with BALPA, the British Airline Pilots Association. The new agreement was proposed by the British carrier in November and accepted yesterday after it was given the green light by almost 90 percent of the union’s members.
According to the Financial Times, the new agreement insulates the previously proposed 11.5 percent pay increase over the next three years against inflation, ensuring known real wage increases over said period of time. Although details are not public, the new agreement also sees improvement in pilot working conditions and compensation bonuses, as reported by Reuters.
British Airways pilots went on strike for two days in early September cancelling more than 1,700 flights and leaving around 200,000 passengers stranded. Industrial action unfolded after months of negotiations between British Airways and BALPA, where both parties failed to reach an agreement.
Pilots were set to strike again on September 27, however, the union called off the strikes on short notice to minimize passenger disruption and attempt to open the table for negotiations one more time. The move might have come as two-sided for British Airways, as the carrier had already contacted passengers for rebooking more than 15 days before scheduled departure to avoid paying EU. 261 compensation for cancelled flights and hence adding more complications to the carrier’s rescheduling efforts.
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