British Airways Says Union Called Off Strike

British Airways said Monday it had reached agreement with a union representing cabin crews to head off a strike scheduled to begin at midnight, but too late to avoid travel disruptions over the next two days.

The Transport & General Workers Union, which had set a 48-hour walkout on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a pair of 72-hour strikes in February. There was no immediate comment from the union except a line, "BA cabin crew strike called off," on a notice sent to the media announcing a news conference Monday afternoon.

The airline announced no details of the settlement.

"We are pleased that our negotiations with the T&G have resulted in an agreement that removes the threat of strikes," said BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh.

"Unfortunately, the decision has come too late to prevent disruption to the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers tomorrow and Wednesday," Walsh added.

"We will endeavor to reinstate as many flights as we can for those days."

The airline had announced the cancellation of 1,300 flights to and from London airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick to allow customers time to make alternative arrangements.

The Transport and General Workers Union had proposed other walkouts Feb. 5-7 and Feb. 12-14 if the dispute, which centers on pay and sick-leave policy, was not resolved.

The union represents about 11,000 of the airline's 14,000 cabin crew members.


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