BA granted emergency injunction by High Court

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on May 18, 2010

After a move by British Airways to block the scheduled cabin crew strikes, the High Court in London has given the airline an emergency directive. Just hours before the strike was set to take place, the airline was granted the injunction.

According to British Airways, passengers will still experience some delays as contingency plans had been set in motion in anticipation of the looming industrial action. Unite members reached a majority vote earlier in the month to stage a 20-day strike that would have begun last night at midnight. The walkout would have been the third against the airline in a year.

In total, the 20 days of striking were scheduled to take place in a series of four, five-day strikes. The first would have begun today and continued until Saturday. However, BA sought out an injunction in the High Courts to stop the strikes from taking place. A move, which the union says, will not win the airline any favours with its cabin crew members.

The current negotiations between BA and Unite have stalled on disagreements over travel perks that had been removed from strikers in the last series of industrial actions. British Airways said Sunday that the airline had offered to give back travel benefits later in the year, but that the union rejected the offer because the airline refused to return seniority perks.

The airline’s financial burdens are increasing exponentially. The threat of industrial action coupled with the airspace closures after the Iceland volcano eruption have almost crippled the carrier. British Airways reported that the cost of the almost seven-day long shutdown from the volcanic ash would amounted to £180 million.

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