Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and shadow chancellor John McDonnell MP will be joining British Airways’ mixed fleet cabin crew on picket lines at Heathrow tomorrow (Thursday 19 January), on the first day of their three day strike over poverty pay.
The 72-hour stoppage beginning at 00:01 follows last week’s two day stoppage, which saw hundreds of mixed fleet cabin crew stay away from work and mount picket lines around Heathrow airport.
Operating out of Heathrow on both short and long haul flights, striking members of mixed fleet cabin crew will be rallying from 07:00 at Bedfont and Feltham FC social club, The Orchard, Hatton Road, Bedfont TW14 9QT, as well as setting up picket lines around Heathrow.
John McDonnell MP, whose constituency covers Heathrow Airport, will be meeting striking mixed fleet cabin crew at Bedfont and Feltham FC social club from 08:00. Len McCluskey will be at the picket line on Nene Rd roundabout, Hounslow, TW6 2LA at 11:00 after visiting striking workers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “British Airways needs to drop its confrontational stance which is causing so much anger and leading to plummeting morale among its mixed cabin crew.
“With British Airways’ parent company forecasting massive annual profits of around £2.3 billion, it is clear the airline can afford to recognise the hard work of its mixed fleet cabin crew by paying a proper decent wage.
“Rather than trying to bully workers and focusing its resources on leasing aircraft to cover striking cabin crew, British Airways should focus its energies on trying to resolve our members’ legitimate concerns over poverty pay.
“Unite urges British Airways to wake up to the deepening anger of mixed fleet cabin crew and start valuing their contribution by meaningfully engaging with Unite to address poverty pay.”
Since 2010 all British Airways new cabin crew employees join what is called ‘mixed fleet’, where despite promises that pay would be 10 per cent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just £12,192 with £3-an-hour flying pay. Unite estimates that on average ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, a year.
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey