The Unite union will announce the results of its strike ballot on December 14th and if 14,000 British Airways cabin crew have voted in favour of a walk out then the possibility of massive Christmas disruption looms.
Employment law means that the first walk out could take place on December 21st, with the union free to continue industrial action over the following 28 days.
The union is balloting cabin crew on strike action at a meeting at the Sandown Park racecourse in Surrey.
BA lost £401m last year and is forecast to post further large losses this week and negotiations broke down with unions over how savings can be achieved, with cabin crew angered at plans to overhaul working conditions.
The Unite union announced last week that it would apply for a High Court injunction against the imposition of the new contracts. BA says it will fight the application, arguing that it hasn’t broken any contracts.
Customers who have already bought tickets will face a couple of months of uncertainty. Previously BA has only offered passengers the chance to rebook once strike dates were known and refunds when flights were cancelled.
BA has said it is “extremely disappointed” that Unite has decided to ballot for industrial action.
Len McCluskey, the assistant general secretary of Unite, said: “BA faces significant difficulties across the business, so why is it also seeking a damaging confrontation with 14,000 cabin crew?
“It needs to think again and abandon plans to force through unfair, unworkable contractual changes.”