No progress reported in British Airways talks with striking cabin crew

Negotiators on both sides report no progress Tuesday between British Airways and cabin crew who have been on strike during what is normally a busy vacation season.

British Airways management and union leaders ended negotiations Tuesday with no sign of progress on resolving a dispute that has led cabin crews to repeatedly walk off the job.

Negotiators for BA and the Unite union have met several times in recent weeks, but there has been little sign of a breakthrough in the bitter dispute over pay and working conditions.

Cabin crews walked out for seven days in March and they have worked only one day since a current strike period began on May 24, causing BA to cancel hundreds of flights during a busy vacation period.

Another eight days of strikes — with a one day breather — are scheduled and union leaders say they could ballot workers for further action in July if the dispute is not resolved.

BA said that it planned to increase its flying schedule for the final wave of the five-day strikes, which begins on June 5.

It said will increase its Heathrow longhaul schedule to around 80 per cent of flights, up from 70 per cent this week and 60 per cent in the first strike period. It will also increase its Heathrow shorthaul schedule to 60 per cent of flights, up from more than 55 per cent this week and more than 50 per cent in the first strike period.

Flights from Gatwick and London City airports are not affected by the walkouts.

The airline also stressed that it will fly its full schedule of 26 departures a week to South Africa ahead of the football World Cup, which kicks off on June 11.

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