Thousands of travellers face disruption to their holidays this august following the announcement by British airways pilots to strike following the rejection of new three year pay deal.
In an almost unanimous vote carried out amongst BA’s 4000 pilots, the decision was taken in favour of industrial action. No dates have been announced so far, with the pilots union Balpa being required to give at least two weeks’ notice.
A hearing in the high court on Tuesday (23 July) will give BA bosses the opportunity to try and obtain an injunction preventing the strike. It is possible that if the injunction is rejected, Balpa could give notice of a walkout on the same day.
Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa has accused BA of choosing to drag its heels on regards to any attempt to reach a settlement with the pilots.
BA says it remains open to further discussion, although it maintains that its offer of an 11.5% pay increase was fair.
News Update: 23 July 2019
Attempts by BA to block the planned pilots strike have been dismissed in the high court.
Disruption to 1000s of holidays now looks inevitable.
Strikes could begin to take place in as little as two weeks’ time, although the pilots union Balpa has said that no dates will be set until after further talks with the airline.
Despite admitting that even one day of strike action would cost more than the pay increase the pilots are asking for, BA show no signs of softening on the issue and have said they intend to take their case to the court of appeal.
BA says that they have offered the pilots an 11.5% increase over 3 years. The pilots are looking for an above-inflation settlement that also involves a profit share scheme. Having taken pay cuts during a period in time when BA was struggling financially, they now suggest that it would only be fair to benefit from the healthy profit they’re currently enjoying.
Further disruption to travel plans may also come from strikes planned by thousands of airport workers which be most keenly felt at BA’s main base, Heathrow, with a series of planned walkouts starting on Friday 26 July.
News Update: 31 July 2019
It now seems likely that hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers will have their holidays disrupted following the court of appeals descision to uphold a verdict by the high court last week that dismissed BA’s argument that the Pilots’ strike ballot was invalid.
As a result, the pilots union Balpa, would now be able to proceed with planned strikes, once they have provided the required two weeks’ notice.
Balpa’s general secretary Brian Strutton was scathing of BA’s actions following this latest verdict, claiming that BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution.
BA issued their own statement in which they expressed their disappointment that Balpa had chosen to threaten the holidays of thousands of our customers this summer. Whilst no strike dates have yet been issued, customers were advised to review their contact details by visiting ba.com, or by contacting their travel agent.
Their statement went on to promise that they would; “Pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers’ travel plans”.
Balpa have said that it would still not consider announcing strike dates until it had held further talks with BA.