BRITISH Airways cabin crew – who claimed they were forced to work under “less favourable” conditions than their colleagues – have spent much of the summer engaged in an industrial dispute with their employer.
A “pause” for talks have been called as the union and BA try to come to an agreement, but further strikes are a real possibility. Find out if your flight will be affected and when the dispute might end…
What are the August strike dates and when are the strikes set to end?
At least 1,400 Unite members working for BA’s mixed flight operation went on strike during July and August – representing around one in 12 of BA’s cabin crew, the Independent reports.
On July 19, the airline’s cabin crew started a 14-day walkout until August 1.
On August 2, Unite announced a continuation of the strikes until August 15.
It was then announced two more weeks of striking would take place – taking the action up to the end of the month.
After several weeks of changing the cabin crew’s walkout, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey launched a “pause for peace” – in a bid to encourage discussions.
But according to a Unite spokesperson, the dispute has not yet been resolved.
Mr McCluskey reportedly wrote to BA’s chief executive and chairman Alex Cruz, saying: “Given the nature and length of the dispute I am more than willing to involve myself in any future talks with you and would ask that the company looks at a number of dates from 31 August onwards.”
BA said it would discuss arrangements when the strike is over.
Why are British Airways cabin crew walking out?
The clash — which has led to over a month’s-worth of strikes since January — is over pay gaps between recently hired “mixed fleet” crew and regular cabin crew.
It involves cabin crew who have joined the airline since 2010, with Unite claiming they earn less than other staff.
The union said a recent survey revealed almost half of the new cabin crew had taken on a second job to make ends meet, with some saying they had to sleep in their cars between shifts because they could not afford the petrol to drive home.
Earnings were advertised between £21,000 and £25,000 per year.
But Unite say in reality it starts at just over £12,000 plus £3 an hour.
They claim the airline refused to extend the mandate of the strike vote to allow for talks to resolve an ongoing dispute over “poverty pay” to continue.
Staff were further provoked by the news Virgin cabin crew are set for a 6.65 per cent pay bump while flight service managers and cabin service supervisors get a 4.45 per cent rise back-dated to October.
Commenting, 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.”
What has British Airways said about the strike?
Following the announcement, British Airways said an offer was given with the aim of resolving the dispute – but it was rejected.
A BA spokesperson initially branded strike action as “completely unnecessary”.
Another representative later told Sun Online: “Once again we will be able to fly all customers to their destinations, despite industrial action by Mixed Fleet Unite.
“We will operate a full schedule at Gatwick and London City airports as well as the vast majority of our Heathrow schedule.
“We will merge a very small number of Heathrow services, and all affected customers are being contacted in advance and will be rebooked to alternative flights.
“We would urge customers to ensure that the correct email and telephone details are in their bookings and to check their travel plans on our website, www.ba.com, if they need any further details.”
Read originally published story at: The Sun