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Strike may halt U.S. to U.K. flights

A British Airways flight departs Heathrow Airport in London, England.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: A labor dispute in the U.K. could affect the States later this week. British Airways is preparing for a major strike by flight attendants. And today we learned that several critical, financially important flights between the U.S. and the U.K. could be canceled. From London, Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Six thousand flight attendants are expected to walk off the job in protest over pay and staffing levels. The first three-day phase of the strike starts this Saturday. B.A. is one of the largest transatlantic carriers. And this could have a big impact on lucrative routes to New York. Half of all flights to JFK are likely to be scrapped. The union involved is under tremendous pressure to call off the action even from their closest political ally, the U.K. prime minister. Speaking in a radio interview Gordon Brown condemned the walk-out.

GORDON BROWN: It's unjustified. It's deplorable. We should not have a strike. It's not in the company's interest. It's not in the workers' interest. And it's certainly not in the national interest.

And it's not in his interest. With an election looming, Brown does not want to be associated with travel chaos and canceled holidays.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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