With BA having to cancel 48 flights after BA’s “Mixed Fleet” union members went on strike during Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and the cancellation of a further 80 flights owing to bad weather, further disruption to travelers is now being caused by a second wave of strike action, this time a three-day strike lasting from Thursday 18 January, to Saturday 21 January. It is understood the carrier will be publishing a revised schedule on Monday 16 January.
The dispute only concerns those cabin crew who were recruited by the airline subsequent to the acrimonious cabin-crew dispute of 2010 and who are employed on an inferior wage structure to longer-standing cabin crew. According to the union, Mixed Fleet cabin crew earn approximately £16,000 per annum, made up of a basic annual salary of £12,192 and a further £3.00/hour payment when on duty. According to BA, the lowest-paid members of this section of cabin crew earned in excess of £21,000.
Since the original dispute began, over 800 new cabin crew have joined BA, and approximately two-thirds of BA’s 4,500 Mixed Fleet employees are Unite union members. While Unite stated the last action was well supported, BA have stated that over 70% of Mixed Fleet cabin crew ignored the strike call.
Calling the latest strike “bizarre” and “completely without justification”, BA issued a statement saying: “We have spent many days in negotiation and agreed a deal with Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, before Christmas – but the Mixed Fleet Unite branch refused to recommend it and said it had been rejected on the basis of an online poll that lacked control over who voted or how many times an individual could vote” .
According to the BA website, “London Heathrow Mixed Fleet is our Cabin Crew team who fly a combination of long and short-haul destinations”.
(£1.00 = US$1.21 at time of publication).