Strike deadline approaches at British Airways
The Unite union and British Airways have just one more day to settle an ongoing dispute or face the prospect of strike action.
British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (Bassa) – Unite’s aviation arm – last week deferred an opportunity to confirm strike dates, with negotiations continuing over the weekend.
However, if no deal is confirmed by Tuesday, strike action is seemingly inevitable.
The organisation represents some 12,000 cabin crew at the British flag-carrier, with up to 81 per cent voting in favour of industrial action late last month.
The union has until March 15th to confirm any date for a strike, with seven days’ notice of any action also required.
Long running dispute
British Airways and Unite have been in negotiations for months, as the airline seeks to cut costs and stem huge financial losses.
Changes have included cutting the number of cabin crew on long-haul flights and curtailing some of the fringe benefits enjoyed by crew.
The British flag-carrier has also proposed new contracts for new recruits at the airline; with details including a single on-board management grade, no seniority, promotion on merit, and pay set at the market rate plus ten per cent.
The High Court in London has ruled the changes were not illegal, in effect supporting BA’s position. However, Unite rejects this position and has continued to press for a reversal of the policies.
Strike action was originally planed for the Christmas period, but was called off as concerns were raised over the legality of the ballot procedure.
Last week Unite offered to accept a 3.4 per cent pay cut, which could save the airline £60 million, to break the deadlock.
British Airways is expected to respond to the proposals by Tuesday evening.