British Airways and the Unite union have reached an agreement to settle their long-running industrial dispute.

As part of the deal BA has agreed to restore travel concessions to staff who went on strike and to award some lower-paid employees top-up payments. Both issues were at the centre of the bitter dispute which has lasted for almost two years and involved 22 days of strikes. The agreement will now be put to a ballot of about 10,000 union members.


Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the union would be making a "strong recommendation" that members accept what he believes is an "honourable agreement". He also said that a strike planned for next week had been called off.

"We always said that this dispute could only be settled by negotiation, not by confrontation or litigation. And so it has proved," he said.

"I am particularly pleased that travel concessions will be restored," he said. BA said: "On behalf of our customers, we are very pleased the threat of industrial action has been lifted and that we have reached a point where we can put this dispute behind us. "Our agreement with Unite involves acknowledgement by the union that the cost-saving structural changes we have made in cabin crew operations are permanent.

"We have also agreed changes that will modernise our crew industrial relations and help ensure that this kind of dispute cannot occur again," the airline said.

During the long-running dispute dozens of BA workers were sacked or disciplined.

Mr McCluskey said their cases would go before the arbitration service Acas, with the body's ruling binding. He also praised BA chief executive Keith Williams for being "strong, brave and courageous" in reaching the agreement.

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