BA strike threat for New Year

BA strike threat for New Year

Union bosses have warned British Airways that a strike could still take place early next year.

As the High Court ruled the planned 12-day walk-out over Christmas was illegal yesterday (Thursday), the Unite union said it would ballot crew again in the New Year.

The two sides are due again in the High Court on February 1 to decide whether the airline’s new working practices are a change to crew contracts.

Unite is likely to wait for a decision before deciding whether to ballot members for industrial action.

A statement released last night by Unite said:

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“BA must accept that there can be no resolution except through negotiation, failing which there will inevitably be a further ballot for industrial action.

“Given the clear mood of cabin crew about management’s imposition of changes on their working lives, the spectre of further disruption to the company’s operations cannot be removed.

“Only a negotiated agreement can do that.”

Unite said it would poll members again for industrial action after Christmas.

A second ballot would take about a month to organise.

The High Court ruled in BA’s favour because some crew who voted for industrial action had already taken voluntary redundancy.

BA said after the verdict: “It is a decision that will be welcomed by hundreds of thousands of families in the UK and around the world.”

More than 900,000 passengers would have been affected by the strike, which was due to start on Tuesday (December 22), and last 12 days.

The airline faced losing up to £30m a day if the strike had gone ahead.

However, financial analysts warned the uncertainty surrounding BA’s industrial relations would continue to hit bookings particularly from the corporate sector.

BA made a loss of £401m before-tax last year and is forecast to lose £600m this year.