British Airways cabin crew vote for 12-day strike

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British Airways cabin crew members have voted heavily in favour of industrial action, with a 12-day strike set to begin on 22 December.

The vote, which had more than an 80% turnout, was 92.5% in favour of a strike, says the Unite union, which says it want to hold further talks with BA in a bid to avoid the walk-out.

"We're hoping that the size of this vote will make the company think again," says a Unite spokesman.

Cabin crew were issued ballot paper for industrial action last month, as controversial new working practices came into effect.

The Unite union has claimed that the changes will mean fewer cabin crew will be required to take on higher workloads, affecting service quality.

BA has berated union representatives, describing Unite's decision as "cynical" and saying it "betrays a total lack of concern" for customers - notably those facing disruption to Christmas holiday plans - as well as employees and the business in general.

The carrier says it is "extremely disappointed" about the matter. "A 12-day strike would be completely unjustified and a huge overreaction to the modest changes we have announced for cabin crew which are intended to help us recover from record financial losses," it adds.

BA has not directly responded to the union's offer to engage in talks to prevent the disruption.