Unite members working for British Airways’ mixed fleet piled further pressure on the airline today (Tuesday 14 February) by announcing a further four days of strikes on top of the four days of action planned for later this week running from 00:01 on Friday (17 February) to 23:59 on Monday (20 February).
The latest strike announcement of strike action running from 00.01 on Wednesday 22 February to 23.59 Saturday 25 February inclusively, follows calls for British Airways to enter talks at the conciliation service Acas and reach an agreement to avoid further strike disruption.
A refusal by British Airways to take up the union's offer to reach a settlement has resulted in the latest escalation said Unite, whose mixed fleet members have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over poverty pay at the airline.
So far, there has been a total of 11 days of strike action since the beginning of January which has led to the cancellation of flights and the airline chartering, or ‘wet leasing’, aircraft from other airlines such as Titan Airways, Vueling and Thomson Airways to cover striking cabin crew.
Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: "For every hour British Airways 'wet leases' an aircraft from another airline to cover striking cabin crew it costs in the region of £2,000 to £3,000.
“Our estimates put the amount of money British Airways has spent on defending the dispute and poverty pay at £1 million.
"This is money which the airline has taken a conscious decision to give to other airlines rather than addressing pay levels which are forcing hardworking mixed fleet cabin crew into financial hardship.
"We would urge British Airways to reconsider its costly intransigence and enter talks at Acas and reach an agreement."
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.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.