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British Union Makes Last-Minute Offer to Suspend Airline Strike


British Airways cabin crew members have begun a five-day strike as the airline scrambles to carry out a normal flight schedule.

Cabin workers walked off their jobs early Monday when the airline rejected the union's offer to call off the strike if management reinstated travel benefits to some staff members.

The airline says it already has agreed to this demand.

Crew members are demanding better working conditions. Union leaders say workers also are unhappy with airline plans to freeze pay and lay off some employees.

The airline has said it will operate most of its flights, including more than half the flights from London's Heathrow airport and all flights from Gatwick airport.

The strikes would bring more losses to the embattled airline, which posted near-record losses for 2009 of more than $600 million.

The airline says it lost about $65 million when cabin crew walked off the job for seven days in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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