Cabin crew working for British Airways at Heathrow have today (Friday June 2) announced that they will take further stoppage action this month as frustrations mount over the airline’s determination to punish previous strikers.
The mixed fleet crew, members of Unite the union, have said they will strike from 00.01 hours on Friday 16 June until 23:59 hours on Monday 19 June in their continuing effort to secure a pay rise for the low paid workforce.
The latest wave of action has been prompted by BA’s persistent refusal to restore the travel concessions that airline management had withdrawn from those who took part in strike action.
Commenting on the development, Unite’s assistant general secretary for legal services Howard Beckett said: “It is disappointing that BA is taking such an approach when we are close to bringing this dispute to a conclusion.
“BA is almost alone among the employers this union has dealt with in that they can accept the case for a pay deal but want to punish the very people who made the case.
“In an airline of the size and status of BA passengers want to know staff are treated with respect. Punishing staff for using legitimate industrial means to reach a wage deal is a culture that Unite cannot accept and a culture that will ultimately damage the BA brand. Allow us to settle this dispute, remove the sanctions and let’s move on"
“BA’s top management needs to think again.”
To date, there has been a total of 26 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.
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.
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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.