Monday, 22 July 2019

Summer of misery on the cards for British Airways passengers

It is likely to be a summer of misery from the passengers of the UK's leading legacy carrier,  British Airways after its pilots have voted in favour of taking strike action over the busy summer holiday period.

This dispute mainly focuses on pay, although British Airways had offered what it calls a "fair and generous" staggered pay rise of 11.5% spread over three years. The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) have said its members deserve a better offer from the airline. The flyers voted in favour of taking strike action by a whopping 93%.

BA said it is "very disappointed" that the union was threatening strike action and confirmed it would still be willing to working with the union to reach an agreement and continued to "pursue every avenue to find a solution to protect our customers' travel plans and avoid industrial action".

Balpa said no dates have yet been chosen for the strike action and advised the airline and pilots that it hopes a solution can be found without a walkout being necessary. However, the strong result in favour of action demonstrated the strength of feeling among the union's members, which make up around 90% of BA's pilots 

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said, "We do not wish to inconvenience our customers, which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November. It is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months,".

British Airways, part of IAG which made a €3bilion profit last year is taking legal action against the union at the High Courts this week in a bid to prevent strike action. A move which has been seen by many staff as deliberately antagonistic and aggressive. The union advises that the threat of legal action is the reason talks are currently on hold and that it would cost the carrier significantly less to settle the dispute completely than a single day of strike action.

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