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Travel industry news

20 Jun 2019

BY James Chapple

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British Airways pilots and staff threaten summer strike action

Tens of thousands of holidaymakers could face disruption this summer after British Airways pilots and staff threatened strike action over pay.

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British Airways pilots and staff threaten summer strike action

Pilots’ union Balpa has issued the airline formal notice of a strike ballot amid an ongoing pay dispute, with the Unite and GMB unions expected to follow suit.


Collectively, the three unions represent around 40,000 BA employees. A typical ballot process, if successful, could trigger walkouts in as little as six to seven weeks.


In a statement, Balpa said it had been in negotiation with BA, along with Unite and the GMB, since November 2018.


The union says with BA posting record profits, its current pay offer is insufficient and “fails to address the fundamental principle of fairness by denying employees a reasonable share of the success they have helped produce”.


According to Balpa, Unite and the GMB will ballot their members “in the near future”. TTG has approached the two unions for comment.


General secretary Brian Strutton said: “All three unions have been working for the benefit of their respective members. Given we collectively represent some 40,000 employees, this is something British Airways should pay careful attention to.


“For the pilots Balpa represents, it is quite simple: BA has been enormously profitable, and the employees should have a fair share of that success which, after all, they produce for the company.”


A BA spokesperson told The Times: “We urge them to join us for mediation with the conciliation service Acas to reach an agreement and protect hard-working families planning their summer breaks.


“We believe our pay and benefits for pilots are among the best in the industry, with around 1,000 applications from pilots who want to move to us from other airlines every year.”


All three unions have previously declared formal trade disputes with BA over pay, profit sharing and a share save scheme, said Balpa.

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