Fresh threats of BA cabin crew strikes
December 15th, 2010 by elisa

After what seems like a fairly long break from news of British Airways cabin crew strikes, the threat of a new strike over the half-term holidays looks to be back on the cards. The action could also be extended to the period over Easter and the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29th April 2011.

The ballot starts next Tuesday and ends on 21st January.

Unite said the ballot is over five outstanding issues:

1. Immediate restoration of staff travel concessions, in full, to the crew from whom they were taken by BA.

2. Binding arbitration, through ACAS, of all cabin crew disciplinary cases related to the original dispute.

3. The restoration of all earnings docked from crew who were genuinely off sick during strike dates.

4. Full and proper discussion of the trade union facilities agreement at the company with the immediate removal of all threats and sanctions made by BA in relation to this.

5. The introduction of mixed fleet on different terms and conditions without the agreement of the trade union.

Unitejoint general secretary Tony Woodley said: “British Airways knows what it must do to end this dispute. Four of the five outstanding issues are no cost issues for the airline and are about treating cabin crew with dignity, respect and ending the climate of persecution. The fifth item is about stopping BA from imposing a near minimum waged workforce and killing their brand.

“Unite is still open to talks but BA must appreciate the strength of feeling across the airline about how badly they’ve handled this dispute. BA must get serious and work with us to settle the issues before us.”

BA issued a statement to say Unite had reneged on a deal struck in October.

It said: “The union agreed last week to hold further talks with us, but has instead issued a strike ballot. It continues to be riven by internal divisions and its behaviour remains dysfunctional,”

“We have put forward very fair proposals that enable our existing Heathrow crew to remain the best rewarded in the UK airline industry. Despite the difficult economic conditions we have faced, we have made savings in ways that have avoided compulsory redundancies.

“Industrial action would be a grossly disproportionate response to the issues that Unite continues to press.

“Should any industrial action take place, we are confident that our well-established contingency plans will allow us to operate normal timetables at Gatwick and London City airports. At Heathrow, we will aim to run a substantial proportion of our short-haul programme and 100 per cent of our long haul operation.”

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