British Airways cabin crew extend strike into August holiday peak

Striking British Airways cabin crew have announced a further two weeks of action for the first half of August in their battle over pay and sanctions at the airline.Crew in the lower-paid mixed fleet working out of Heathrow started the latest 14-day walkout on 19 July, their 46th day on strike since January, meaning a month of strikes will now take place during the summer holiday peak.BA has said it has so far flown every booked passenger to their destination during the strikes, by merging departures, leasing planes and crew from outside, and rebooking onto other airlines. The mixed fleet crew represent about one-third of BA’s total cabin staff, and around 60% of them are in the Unite union.A British Airways spokesman said: As during Unite’s previous industrial action, we will ensure all our customers reach their destinations.Instead of calling further completely unnecessary strikes, Unite should allow its members a vote on the pay deal we reached two months ago.Unite believes the extended action will soon leave BA unable to fill holes in rosters as non-striking crew � including some drafted in from other departments � reach a legal maximum on flying hours.The dispute started over pay for cabin crew, which starts at Pound 12,100 in basic salary, but is pushed above Pound 21,000 with bonuses and allowances, according to BA � a figure disputed by Unite, which says many crew members make around Pound 16,000.A potential deal was rebuffed because of sanctions against crew who had been involved in strikes, including the loss of bonuses and travel perks. Anger has been exacerbated by BA explicitly paying non-striking crew Pound 250 drawn from money saved on crew bonuses.BA said cabin crew were warned of the consequences, including loss of benefits, before they went on strike to encourage them to come to work. It has offered a 7% pay deal over three years.Unite’s national officer, Oliver Richardson, said: Attempts by British Airways to bribe cabin crew into not striking with a Pound 250 bung represents a crude attempt to sow division and will ultimately fail. Such actions will only serve to deepen the resolve of our members and the support they are receiving from the public and politicians.Covering cabin crew are perilously close to their legal flying times and could ultimately be pushed over the number of hours they allowed to fly in the next 28 days.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar