BA Strike Action Looms

BA Strike Action Looms

Unite the union issued ballot papers for potential industrial action to its
12,000-strong cabin crew membership within British Airways this week.

The ballot papers were sent on the same day BA began to impose far-reaching
changes to cabin crew working practices, changes which Unite believes are not
only unworkable but also contractual – and so must be negotiated, not

Unite is concerned the changes will place crew under additional stress during
flights, which will have a negative impact on both passenger service and health
and safety.

Such are Unite’s concerns about the changes that it has lodged a collective
letter of objection with BA on behalf of its cabin crew members, and asked a
firm of leading employment solicitors to establish an e-helpline to allow crew
to provide feedback on the impact on working practices and customer service.

Speaking as the ballot papers were sent out, Brian Boyd, Unite national
officer for aviation, said: “The way to deliver change is through negotiation,
not imposition.  Of course the cabin crew are angry; they care passionately
about this business but feel they are not being listened to on serious matters
of service delivery.  This business is all about its customers and the crew do
not want them to suffer as a result of these changes.

“We ask British Airways to signal that it is willing to abandon its plans to
impose change and work with us on a way forward, one which delivers for
passengers, shareholders and the workforce.  Then we could begin to tackle the
roots of this damaging dispute and find a way forward.”

Steve Turner, national officer for aviation, added: “We have lodged a formal
letter with BA on behalf of our 12,000-plus cabin crew members who strongly
oppose the company’s plans to force through cuts.  Crews being forced to work
under protest retain their legal rights to pursue a reversal of the imposition,
as well as significant compensation, and Unite continues to fight their case in
the High Court.  In the meantime, our ballot for industrial action continues and
will close as planned on December 14th.”

The High Court hearing for Unite’s claim has been scheduled for 1st February