UPDATE 2-British govt to intervene in BA cabin crew strike

* Transport min to meet separately with union, management

* Passengers face 20 days of strike disruption

(Adds ACAS talks)

By Kylie MacLellan

LONDON, May 15 (BestGrowthStock) – The British government is to
intervene in a long-running dispute between British Airways
(BAY.L: ) cabin crew and management in a bid to avert up to 20
days of planned strikes over the next four weeks.

Industrial action by members of the Unite union, which
represents about 90 percent of BA’s 12,000 cabin crew, begins
with a five-day walkout starting on May 18, threatening more
misery for travellers already hit by walkouts and disruption
caused by volcanic ash.

“The secretary of state will be meeting both sides in this
dispute separately next week,” a spokeswoman for Transport
Minister Philip Hammond said on Saturday.

Conciliation service ACAS later said the two sides had
agreed to hold talks on Monday in a bid to avert the strikes.

BA, which stopped a December strike through the courts, said
on Friday it had applied for a High Court injunction to prevent
the May strikes, after finding an irregularity in how the union
had conducted the ballot to strike. A similar move was used to
block a rail strike earlier this year.

The industrial action follows seven days of walkouts in
March which cost the airline 45 million pounds ($65.61 million).

The strikes are part of a long-running disagreement over pay
and conditions that stems from BA plans to save 62.5 million
pounds a year to counter falling demand, volatile fuel prices
and greater competition.

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UPDATE 2-British govt to intervene in BA cabin crew strike