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March 13, 2010

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BA cabin crew set to strike for 7 days

BRITISH Airways cabin crew will walk out for seven days later this month after talks between the airline and labor unions aimed at averting a strike broke down, dealing a fresh blow to the loss-making carrier.

The Unite union yesterday said BA cabin crew would strike for three days from March 20 and for four days from March 27.

By law, Unite had until next Monday to announce actions, giving seven days notice of any walkout.

"This will probably cost BA something in the region of 20 million pounds (US$29.84 million) a day but maybe less since they have some contingency plans in place," said Davy Stockbrokers aviation analyst Stephen Furlong.

BA has trained staff from other areas of the company to fill in as cabin crew during the strike and has said it will hire 23 fully-crewed planes from charter companies to help run flights from Heathrow.

The union's 13,000 cabin crew members have twice voted for industrial action as part of a dispute over job losses and changes to working practices, but a 12-day Christmas strike was halted following a successful legal challenge from BA.


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