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British Airways cabin crew have suspended a planned four-day strike. Around 2,900 staff had been due to walk out from Friday in a long-running dispute about pay and benefits.

BA had said the crew’s pay and rewards are in line with competitors but Unite said the action was about benefits not being reinstated for crew who took part in earlier industrial action.

The union says talks will now be held at conciliation service Acas to reach an agreement.

Unite said the cabin staff, who work on both short and long-haul routes as part of the airline’s “mixed fleet” agreement, are paid less than other BA crew.

“Mixed-fleet” cabin crew have staged 26 days of strikes so far, and Unite says that as a result, 1,400 of its members have had their travel benefits taken away.

BA had called the new strike “completely unnecessary” adding it “had reached a deal on pay, which Unite’s national officers agreed was acceptable”.

But the union said action had come about because the airline had treated staff who had participated in earlier strike action unfairly.

“Punishing staff for using legitimate industrial means to reach a wage deal is a culture that Unite cannot accept,” it added.

It comes after the airline suffered an IT failure which left 75,000 passengers stranded over the bank holiday weekend.

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