US union backs BA workers over strikes

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British Airways is to increase its flying schedule during a three-day strike by cabin crew after more staff volunteered to work.

The company said more employees had offered to stand in for members of the Unite union who will walk out for three days from Saturday in a row over cost-cutting.

BA said earlier this week that it aimed to fly 60 per cent of customers during the strikes, but the number of cabin crew offering to work as normal has increased "significantly" since then and is expected to grow.

BA's chief executive Willie Walsh said: "We will now have the potential to fly more than 4,000 additional customers per day and serve more destinations. We believe this is a helpful move at a time when customers are facing rising fares with alternative carriers."

Unite, which is also planning a four-day strike from March 27, has received the backing of a powerful US union.

Unite officials will meet representatives of the American Teamsters union in Washington DC on Wednesday.

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