Dispute involving BA check-in staff at Heathrow suspended amid new pay offer

A passenger checks his flight details with a British Airways member of staff.

The dispute affecting British Airways check-in staff at Heathrow Airport has been suspended after the company made an improved pay offer, unions said. Extensive negotiations were held on Wednesday and an agreement was reached. Unite said it will now ballot members involved in the dispute on the proposed offer. The Unite union's general secretary Sharon Graham said: “We welcome that BA has finally listened to the voice of its check-in staff.

“Unite has repeatedly warned that pay disputes at BA were inevitable unless the company took our members’ legitimate grievances seriously. “I pay tribute to, and stand with, our members who have fought hard to protect their pay.” Unite regional officer Russ Ball said: “I want to salute the solidarity and bravery of our members, who, through acting in unity, have ensured that a vastly improved offer has been made.” The check-in workers voted to take industrial action in a dispute over pay, saying a 10% wage cut during the height of the pandemic had not been reversed.

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Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer, said the offer was "long overdue". “It is very clear that workers organising and threatening industrial action is what has delivered," she added. “All our members – who are predominantly low-paid women – wanted was to be given back the pay cuts BA imposed on them during the pandemic, threatening them with fire and rehire if they said no. “These are frontline workers facing anger from customers daily. The least they deserved was fair pay.”