BA union warns that strike action is 'inevitable'

Unite will ballot for action 'at the right time', possibly during the Christmas break.

Unite has warned British Airways that it will proceed with industrial action unless long-standing issues between the cabin crew and the airlines are negotiated and settled.

The national officer for Unite, Brendan Gold, has said that the union would ballot for action "at the right time." The Christmas holidays could be disrupted in the event of the "inevitable" strike ballot by Unite.

Over a thousand BA flight attendants met at the Kempton Park racecourse to call for a new strike poll. The crew has already been on strike for 22 days this year, and negotiations between the two sides have ended inconclusively in August.

The major issues have been the changes to work practices, the firing of 13 employees during the dispute and the cancellation of travel privileges of strikers.

About 60 members have been put on suspension, says the union. BA chief executive Willie Walsh wanted the union "busted and crushed," said a Unite spokesperson.

BA has said that the cabin crew union "doesn't have the authority to call a ballot."