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British Airways, union resume talks to avert strike

British Airways cabin crew are due to begin a three-day stoppage from Saturday in a dispute centred on staffing levels on long-haul flights.

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British Airways (BA) and the Unite union have resumed talks to try to avert a planned weekend strike by cabin crew, British media reported on Thursday.                                           

The BBC quoted sources at Unite saying that contact "had been made" in an attempt to prevent a three-day stoppage due to start on Saturday.                                           

BA declined to comment, saying it would not give a running commentary on the dispute. A Unite spokeswoman would not confirm the report.                                           

BA cabin crew are due to begin a three-day stoppage from Saturday in a dispute centred on staffing levels on long-haul flights. They plan a further four-day strike from March 27.                                           

The timing of the stoppage is awkward for the ruling Labour government as it comes just weeks before an election and Unite is its largest financial backer.                                           

Business secretary Peter Mandelson said on Thursday that the proposed strike was unjustified and would harm the company's prospects. Prime minister Gordon Brown has also called for a resumption of talks.                                           

BA has said it hopes to fly at least 60% percent of customers booked for the March 20-22 period after training staff from other areas of the company to fill in for cabin crew.

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