BA turns to arbitrator as ground staff talks reach impasse

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British Airways is to call in arbitrators to break a deadlock in its talks with unions, as the carrier tries to reach a cost-cutting agreement.

It says it was "not possible to conclude an agreement" with unions by a 30 June deadline, and has asked the ACAS conciliation and arbitration service to "facilitate" any further meetings the carrier "may have".

A spokesman for BA says the carrier has not scheduled further talks.

BA chief Willie Walsh, in Cannes for an airline information technology conference, declined today to comment on progress with the discussions. The carrier is reportedly seeking a pay freeze and job cuts from ground staff.

Three ground workers' groups are involved in the talks: cabin crew and baggage-handlers, represented by the Unite union, and administrative staff represented by both the Unite and GMB unions.