British Airways cabin crew back strike ballot
February 22nd, 2010 by elisa

BA tail by Simon_sees.

BA Tail picture by Flickr User Simon_Sees

Passengers face fresh risks of strike action with British Airways as it was announced today that the cabin crew backed the Unite ballot for industrial action. Unite have said that they don’t plan on announcing strike dates just yet as they hope to reach a negotiation with BA before resorting to strikes.

80.7% of the ballot papers were returned, with a whopping 78.7% voting in favour of industrial action. Len McCluskey, the union’s general secretary said this was “a clear indication of the deep sense of grievance that our members feel”.

The union has pledged that it will not allow the strike, which if it goes ahead will start 1st March at the earliest, to affect the Easter holiday plans of thousands of Brits. However, some crew writing online and commenting on the situation suggest that there is a plan to “play dirty” and strike around the long Easter weekend, causing chaos as services are backed up.

According to an online poll by Unite, some two thirds of cabin crew want ten days of action so that the message would be put across of disgruntlement at changes in salaries and staffing levels.

There is an official response to the ballot on BA’s website which states:

“In the weeks before and during the ballot period, Unite claimed that we had breached individual crew members’ contracts by making modest changes to on board crew numbers on flights from Heathrow. We have always said this claim was false, and it was rejected by the High Court three days ago.

The vast majority of crew who voted in this ballot will have done so before the High Court decision. We hope Unite will bear this fact in mind as it considers its next steps.”

In the event of strike action BA state that you will be able to:

 Rebook onto another British Airways flight to the same destination within 355 days of the original date of travel

Rebook onto another British Airways flight to/from the nearest alternative airport (for example, if booked to/from Boston you could rebook to/from Philadelphia or New York)

Cancel your booking and get a refund.

All of these booking options, of course, will be subject to availability.

BA will also keep you informed via email (or SMS text if you have supplied your mobile number) with any news which may affect your flight as soon as they can, to check your details are correct, click here.

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