British Airways Cabin Crew & Airport Staff to strike on Christmas and Boxing Day

Market - Himanshu Gill - Dec 17,2016

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british airways cabin crew and airport staff to strike on christmas and boxing day

British Airways (BA) cabin crew who are members of the Unite Union are set to strike on Christmas Day and Boxing Day over pay rolls and work conditions.

Around 4500 employees working on mixed fleet contracts who joined the airline since 2010, would be a part of this action. The initial strike will be initiated by check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew who are employed by Swissport and are members of the Unite Union on 23rd December for a period of 48 hours. British Airways cabin crew, also members of the Unite, will then continue the strike on 25th and 26th December. Both the strikes are over pay issues.

Major UK airports, including Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Stansted, East Midlands and Belfast would be affected by this strike. Other smaller airports that would be influenced are Aberdeen, Bristol, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, Luton, Newcastle and Southampton.

The British Airways authorities have termed the strike “calculated and completely unnecessary”. The BA cabin crew was offered a 2% pay rise that it rejected this week. Post the rejection, 1200 members had voted for the strike, which accounts for 7% of the total crew.

The union’s argument is that salaries for those on mixed fleet contracts were earlier advertised between £21,000 and £25,000, but in reality, started at just over £12,000 plus £3 an hour flying pay. They said that they do not have collective bargaining rights and the authorities have endured a six-year long pay freeze.

The BA, on the other hand, said that it had proposed a fair and reasonable pay rise and feel appalled that the Unite is planning to strike at such an important time when families travel back home or gather together or go for Christmas holidays.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic pilots have also voted for an industrial action short of a strike in a row over union recognition.