British Airways (BA) and members of its cabin crew have formally settled their long-running industrial dispute after staff accepted a deal hammered out between the two sides.

The Unite union, to which almost 10,000 of BA's cabin crew belong, announced that its members had voted in favour of a proposed settlement to the 18-month dispute. Unite said that in a 72% turnout poll, 92% of those voting were in favour of the deal.

The dispute, which became increasingly bitter as it progressed, led to 22 days of strikes in 2010 and losses to BA estimated at around £150 million ($240 million).

It initially concerned pay demands, but increasingly came to revolve around reinstatement of staff travel concessions that BA stripped from strikers, plus accusations of management harassment and harsh disciplinary measures.

Under the settlement, BA said it had agreed a two-year pay deal, with raises of 2.9% in 2011-12 and 3.0% in 2012-13. Additionally, a further 1.1% would be available in the first year and a further 0.5% in year two, provided productivity savings equivalent in value to the supplementary raises were agreed.

On the disciplinary front, a BA spokesman said that any employees dismissed for dispute-related matters and whose cases have not yet been heard by an industrial tribunal would be able to take them to the government's arbitration service, which would deliver a verdict binding on both sides.

Union general secretary Len McCluskey described the deal as "an honourable agreement".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news