Thursday, 23 June 2022

British Airways staff at London Heathrow vote overwhelmingly for strikes over pay

British Airways check-in staff have voted in favour of taking strike action in a dispute over pay at the UK's busiest airport.  The Unite union said that over 500 of its members at the airline voted by 94.7% to take strike action while GMB said 95% of its members voted for the action.

The dispute is a result of British Airways restoring the 10 per cent pay cut made during the pandemic to management but are refusing to reinstate wage rates for 'A scales' check-in staff.

Unite is now giving BA a short window of opportunity to remove the 10 per cent pay cut before announcing strikes which will cause severe disruption to flights this summer.

Unite national officer for aviation Oliver Richardson said: “The problems British Airways is facing are entirely of its own making. It brutally cut jobs and pay during the pandemic even though the government was paying them to save jobs.

“In the case of this dispute, they have insulted this workforce, slashing pay by 10 per cent only to restore it to managers but not to our members.

“BA is treating its loyal workforce as second class citizens and they will not put up with it a moment longer. Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption to BA’s services at Heathrow.

The company has a short window of opportunity to reinstate our members pay before strikes are called. I urge BA not to squander that opportunity.”

Nadine Houghton, for GMB, said BA had "tried to offer our members crumbs from the table in the form of a 10% one-off bonus payment, but this doesn't cut the mustard".

"It's not too late to save the summer holidays - other BA workers have had their pay cuts reversed, do the same for ground and check-in staff and this industrial action can be nipped in the bud," 

British Airways said it hoped it would negotiate with the unions, but advised that any strikes would have little effect as managers and other staff - including cabin crew would be drafted into the airport to take over check-in functions. 

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