Unite appeals High Court decision

by Tiffany Millar on May 19, 2010

British Airways cancelled even more flights today as it struggles to restore order and get back to its full timetable. The damage results from an anticipated five-day strike from 12,000 cabin crew members that ended up being blocked by High Courts just hours before starting.

Flight services are expected to mirror yesterday’s, when BA scrapped 40 per cent of its routes in Europe and 10 per cent of its long-haul trips at London Heathrow. The disruptions left 20,000 people without flights, said BA spokesman Paul Marston.

BA reported that flight services at Gatwick and City will continue to run as usual. However, the airline did say it would not return to a complete schedule until the weekend.

Tomorrow, the British Court of Appeals will hand down a ruling regarding Unite’s move to challenge the strike ban. The High Court ruled that Unite had failed to accurately inform its members about the strike vote results. According to Unite, the ruling has brought talks between the union and the carrier to an abrupt end.

If Judge Richard McCombe’s ruling is overturned by the appeals court, than cabin crew members will go ahead with the planned 20-day walkout. Unite had planned to stage the walkouts in a series of four five-day strikes, the first of which was supposed to take place yesterday.

In March, the union held two walkouts, costing the carrier £45 million. BA said yesterday that they still remain open to negotiations. Union spokeswoman Pauline Doyle, however, had no comment regarding the appeal.

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