British Airways strike called off

Jan. 29, 2007 at 11:49 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The two-day strike against British Airways by its largest union was called off Monday after the union agreed to a 4.6 percent pay increase, the airline said.

The agreement with the Transport & General Workers Union is "a major step forward," letting Europe's third largest airline "build on a much stronger future," Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh told a London news conference.

He said all overseas flights would fly tomorrow, but added the decision to end the strike had come too late to prevent travel disruptions for thousands of customers.

The airline had canceled 1,300 flights, including all London Heathrow flights and many at Gatwick, affecting about 154,000 passengers. The airline has more flights from Europe across the Atlantic than any other operator.

Besides pay issues, flight attendants had planned to strike to protest the company's new policy reducing sick leave to 12 days from 25 a year.

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

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