Unite to sue BMI over failure to honour staff pay award

A BMI aeroplane
Image caption Unite is suing BMI over an unpaid pay rise which was initially deferred for a year

The airline BMI is being taken to court by the union Unite over claims it has failed to honour a three-year pay award to its staff.

The union says as a result its 3,000 members at the company have not had a pay rise, worth millions of pounds, since 2008.

It has now instructed its lawyers to begin action in the High Court.

A BMI spokesman said: "Constructive talks are continuing and discussions remain ongoing."

Unite and BMI entered into a three year pay agreement in 2007, the union said, which meant staff would receive pay rises in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The first two rises were paid but, due to economic circumstances, the union said it agreed to defer a 4.75% pay rise, due in April 2009, until 31 March 2010 instead.

Unite claims BMI has not honoured the agreement to pay the third year of the deal.

Unite's national officer Brian Boyd said: "Unite is lodging a High Court claim against BMI because the company owes its employees a long overdue pay increase.

"Staff agreed to defer the increase to help the company during difficult times but they are still waiting for the company to honour its end of the bargain.

"Lufthansa, which owns BMI, is a huge airline and employees need reward for their dedication and loyalty."

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