SOME BRITISH Airways cabin crew began a 16-day strike on Saturday in a prolonged pay dispute.
Members of BA’s ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew – those who work on both long-haul and short-haul flights – have been in conflict with the company since last year over wage offers which the Unite trade union has described as ‘poverty pay’.
Despite the pay dispute being resolved, Unite said the walkout is in response to sanctions on union members involved in previous industrial action – 1,400 mixed fleet members who had been on strike previously having seen bonus payments and travel concessions removed.
‘Customers will take a dim view and a great British brand risks being further tarnished. We call on British Airways to drop the threats and drop the sanctions and resolve this long-running dispute,’ Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said in a statement.
he mixed fleet staff make up about a third of the BA’s total cabin crew of around 16,000, although not all members of the crew will take action.
BA again warned of ‘consequences’ for those who went on strike, but said all customers would reach their destinations.
‘We have set out the consequences for crew if they take strike action,’ they said in a statement, adding ‘the purposes of these consequences are to encourage crew to come to work.’
A full schedule will run from Gatwick and London City, while a small number of Heathrow services will be merged, BA said.