Striking 'mixed fleet' cabin crew call on M&am...

Striking 'mixed fleet' cabin crew call on M&S to demand British Airways ends poverty pay

10 January 2017

WHAT: British Airways ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew photo opportunity outside M&S HQ
WHEN: Wednesday 11 January 2017, 11:00
WHERE: Marks & Spencer Headquarters, Waterside House, 35 North Wharf Road, London W2 1NW

Unite members working as cabin crew for British Airways’ ‘mixed fleet’ will be handing in a letter to Marks & Spencer at its headquarters tomorrow (Wednesday 11 January) calling on the retailer to demand BA stops paying poverty wages to sell M&S food.

The call comes on the second day of a 48-hour stoppage over poverty pay by ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew and coincides with tomorrow’s roll-out of the new M&S food range on short haul flights across British Airways. The introduction of the M&S range follows the withdrawal of inclusive in-flight meals on BA’s short haul flights.

It will see ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew operating out of Heathrow selling the same food, but being paid a basic starting salary which is up to £6,000 less than customer assistants will get in M&S’ Greater London stores from April this year, when their pay rises to above the London living wage.

With a bacon roll costing £4.75 on board, a packet of crisps £1 and a soft drink £1.80, a ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew member would have to work nearly three hours to cover the cost of basic meal with their £3 an hour allowance for food.

Tomorrow's call comes as hundreds of 'mixed fleet' cabin crew stayed away from work today and joined picket lines around Heathrow airport.

Commenting Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “Cabin crew working for British Airways’ ‘mixed fleet’, 36,000 feet up in air, face earning up to £6,000 less basic pay than M&S staff selling the same food in store.

“M&S needs to ask itself whether it's comfortable with this injustice and British Airways' pitiful pay rates which have seen hundreds of 'mixed fleet' cabin crew stay away from work and mount picket lines in their fight for fair pay. 

“The pennies 'mixed fleet' cabin crew are paid mean they will struggle to afford the M&S sandwiches they sell. We would urge M&S to do the right thing and tell British Airways to follow its lead and pay ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew a fair and proper living wage.

“British Airways need to wake up to the anger and the strength of feeling its confrontational stance on pay has generated and talk meaningfully with Unite our concerns.”


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.