Wednesday 18 September 2019

Rising threat of strike by BA pilots

 

British Airways logos are seen on tail fins at Heathrow Airport, London. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
British Airways logos are seen on tail fins at Heathrow Airport, London. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

Anne-Marie Walsh

British Airways passengers face the prospect of holiday disruption this month after a legal bid by the airline failed to halt the threat of a pilots' strike.

Such a walk-out is looming after the UK Court of Appeal rejected the airline's bid for an injunction on industrial action by a pilot union.

The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) has not set a date for industrial action yet, but will only give two weeks' notice when it does.

A BA spokesperson said it runs six flights between Dublin and Heathrow a day, which is understood to represent less than 5pc of all the airline's flights.

The BA spokesperson said talks with the union resumed yesterday in a bid to avert the disruptive action.

"We are doing absolutely everything in our power to prevent any potential unfair action from taking place and ruining our customers' summer holidays," said a statement from the airline.

"We are extremely disappointed that Balpa is choosing to cause unnecessary worry and we remain open and flexible to finding a solution."

BA said its proposed pay deal of 11.5pc over three years is fair and was accepted by Unite and GMB unions, representing almost 90pc of staff.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said the window for negotiation and compromise is closing fast.

"On BA's own figures submitted to the court, even a single day of strike action will cost far more than we believe it would take to settle this dispute," he said.

Irish Independent

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