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BA set for union peace talks

British Airways is said to be readying for hold peace talks with Unite over the ongoing cabin crew row.

The move comes amid the fourth ballot for industrial action since the dispute began some two years ago. The ballot is set to close at the end of the month, however BA officials and Unite alike appear to be going in a fresh direction in an issue that has been at a standstill for months on end.

Unite head Len McCluskey and chief executive of British Airways Keith Williams will reportedly begin negotiations in the coming days. Recent reports say that Mr McCluskey is planning to let shop stewards to again take part in discussions after they had stepped back in the latter half of 2010. Meanwhile, Mr Williams has given indications that he has agreed to meet with Unite bosses and cabin crew leaders at Bassa.

A spokeswoman for British Airways said that the airline was looking to establish a positive relationship with all of its cabin crew workers regardless of whether or not they are Unite members.

The current ballot faces nearly 10,000 of British Airways’ 13,500 crewmembers. Meanwhile BA had said ahead of the poll that support for strikes was dropping as only 12,500 members had been balloted in 2009. The notion followed threats of legal action over the previous ballot that the airline claimed was held illegally.

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