BA cabin crew considering Easter strikes

by Ella FAIRCHILD on January 24, 2011

Cabin crew for embattled carrier British Airways have backed calls from the Unite union for another wave of strikes, this time possibly over Easter half-term. The treat of more industrial action affecting the airline, which is the Labour Party’s biggest donor, sparked a political row in Parliament yesterday.

Although the exact date of the stoppages has not yet been revealed by Unite, it is thought that they are likely to affect half-term travel. BA lost around £150 million last year after delays and cancellations sprung up as a result of 22 days of strikes.

It is also expected that the carrier will lose fresh bookings as the uncertainty surrounding the date of the strikes will cause panic among passengers. Unite general secretary-elect, Len McLuskey, has called for peace talks, but it is thought the union will have to strike for at least one day over the next 12 weeks to stop its members being legally sacked.

Duncan Holley, who works as a branch secretary for an organisation representing BA’s cabin crew, called the dispute “a cat and mouse game” but said that Unite would have to act differently to get the upper hand this year. He added that British Airways is now more organised so it would take more than just brute force to get what they want.

The dispute, which centres around pay and working conditions for the carrier’s cabin crew, looked like it could be coming to an end in October 2010 when BA and Unite bosses shook hands on a deal. The agreement fell apart however when the two parties failed to come to an arrangement about the small print of the pact.

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