British Airways and Unite sign major recognition agreement

British Airways, the UK’s national carrier, and Unite, the country’s biggest employee unions, have reached a major recognition deal representing the airline’s cabin crew.

The agreement signed between Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and British Airways chief executive Keith Williams covers terms and conditions including pay, holidays and hours of work for all new and future cabin crew at British Airways working on European and worldwide routes. The agreement covers the airline’s mixed fleet cabin crew – mainly young recruits hired on different terms after an industrial dispute in 2010.

BA’s mixed fleet crew works separately from the established crew and fly to a combination of long and short-haul destinations. They work to less generous contracts and remuneration but are more strictly managed. Mixed fleet cabin crew mainly operates from London Heathrow with female crew wearing BAs Hats, and fly to destinations including Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Hamburg and Manchester. There are nearly 2,000 mixed fleet cabin crew operating out of Heathrow.

Following the agreement, McCluskey, who has been leading the discussions on behalf of the union, said: ‘I’m delighted that Unite and British Airways have agreed this groundbreaking recognition deal for BA’s mixed fleet. The union and the company worked positively together to put the finishing touches to the agreement. Cabin crew has already seen the benefits of the recognition deal including a substantial increase in holiday pay entitlement.’

‘It’s no surprise that the union has already recruited over half of the mixed fleet cabin crew and Unite will continue to encourage crew to join to ensure workers have a voice within the mixed fleet,’ he added.