Friday 20 September 2019

Hopes to avert travel chaos over Christmas hang in the balance

Stephen Garbutt (red top) and Roxanne McAdam (pink top), who flew into Dublin airport from Australia for the Christmas holidays, are welcomed home by family members. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Stephen Garbutt (red top) and Roxanne McAdam (pink top), who flew into Dublin airport from Australia for the Christmas holidays, are welcomed home by family members. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Daniel Grey

Thousands of Irish travellers could be left stranded in airport lounges this Christmas if planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew are not averted.

Talks would take place today in a bid to avoid travel chaos, conciliation service Acas said.

Last week, British Airways said the Unite trade union had called a strike involving one of its five cabin crew fleets on Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day.

The union said last week that thousands of cabin crew had voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.

"BA and Unite have accepted our invitation to attend conciliation talks in respect of the cabin crew dispute," a spokeswoman for Acas said.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey welcomed the talks.

"It is only by getting round the table that we can find a solution to my members' concerns," he said in a statement.

It comes as workers at 18 UK airports with services firm Swissport have also agreed to hold talks over strike action.

Some 1,500 check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew in British airports are considering going on strike but will meet with Unite on December 20.

Irish Independent

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