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British Airways cabin crew Christmas strike likely
October 27th, 2009 by elisa

British Airways cabin crew could strike in the run up to Christmas, further puncturing the flag carrier’s ailing finances.

Around 14,000 crew are to be balloted on strike action by their unions as negotiations over pay and working practices failed after nine long months of talks. With the mood rebellious amongst staff after a series of shocks that include being asked to work for nothing by BA chief executive Willie Walsh, strikes look likely. The ballot should take around four weeks and would mean strike action kicking off at the start of December.

Despite this action, Walsh has vowed to continue with this raft of cost cutting measures which include freezing pay, reducing overseas travel allowance, implementing voluntary redundancies and moving 3000 staff to part time roles. Walsh wants to reduce staff numbers on various routes and fill the gap by asking senior crew to join the food service staff. The chief executive also shocked staff by asking them to follow in his footsteps and work for no pay for one month.

Although it is thought that BA is currently focusing on contingency plans should the strike go ahead, it is anticipated that the carrier will still be forced to cancel flights as Christmas approaches.

“The changes that we are making from mid-November will go ahead regardless and I have made that very clear to them. We have got fantastic cabin crew but we can’t avoid the realities of the cost structures that we have within the business and they simply are not sustainable.” said Walsh.


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