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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 18:21 GMT
What BA and the T&G have agreed
Willie Walsh and Tony Woodley
The deal came after 120 hours of negotiations
British Airways and the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) have reached an agreement to avert planned strike action by cabin crew workers.

But what exactly have the airline and the union agreed upon, and does this mark the end of the airline's recent history of industrial action?

THE KEY POINTS OF THE DEAL

All cabin crew staff are getting a basic new two-year pay deal.

This is worth 4.6% in the first year, and by the rate of inflation in year-two.

Staff currently earning the lowest levels of pay will also have additional pay rises to bring an end to the current two-tier wage structure, which was introduced in 1997.

In return, the union has agreed that the number of team leaders per cabin crew on BA's largest aircraft will be reduced from the current four people down to three.

The union will also now recommend its members back BA's efforts to reduce the airline's 2.1bn pension deficit.

BA and the union have also agreed on the implementation of the current sick leave policy, introduced 18 months ago, whereby staff have to explain to managers why they were off sick.

The T&G says it is now happy that the policy will be implemented fairly, and that staff will not feel obliged to go to work if they are sick.

BA and the union also said that "both parties recognise that a fresh start is needed to the relationship and work will begin on developing a constructive and professional relationship".

The success of this new relationship will be reviewed "on a regular basis" by BA's chief executive Willie Walsh, and the T&G's general secretary Tony Woodley.

WHAT ISSUES WERE AT THE CENTRE OF THE PLANNED STRIKE?

The two main issues were pay and sick leave.

Regarding pay, staff wanted both a rise, and an end to the two-tier structure that meant those that joined after 1997 were paid less than those who started before that year.

However, the key issue was the fact that staff felt they wrongly had to justify to their manager why they were off sick.

The union said this made workers feel they were being pressurised into working when they felt unwell.

IS THIS THE END OF BA'S STRIKE WOES?

It remains to be seen.

BA still has to reach agreement with all its workers on how best to tackle its pension deficit.

While it now appears that cabin crew workers will support its plans, the airline still has to get the backing of its pilots and ground crew staff.

The pilots last year threatened to strike on the issue.

BA also has to continue to deal with what some analysts see as an ongoing environment of worker militancy.

Commentators say this was evident in August 2005, when BA ground crews held a series of wildcat strikes in support of sacked workers at a separate company - in-flight caterer Gate Gourmet.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Background on the dispute between BA and cabin staff



SEE ALSO
Q&A: BA strike called off
29 Jan 07 |  Business
BA strike peace talks to resume
29 Jan 07 |  Business
Profile: BA boss Willie Walsh
25 Jan 07 |  Business
BA seeks talks to avert walk-out
22 Jan 07 |  Business

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