British Airways Pilots have announced a three-day strike action over failure to settle a pay dispute that has persisted for a long time. The strike is expected to take place for three days – 9th, 10th and 27th of September.
What this means: Several holiday makers, tourists, and honeymoons plans will be dashed following this new developments. This is coming after mails were sent overnight that flights scheduled for 9th, 10th and 27th of September could experience delays and cancellations. Travelers were also directed to seek a refund or book elsewhere.
Also, the strikes will cost the airline about £40 million a day and take place in what is British Airways’ centenary year.
Reason for strike action: The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) blamed the airline for refusing all its proposals to settle the dispute. The union said that it had “no choice but to call this action”. The union also said 93% of its members voted in favour of the action after rejecting a pay rise package of 11.5% over three years.
The British Airways, however, promised that it was in control of the situation.
“We will do everything we can to get as many people away on their journeys as possible. However, it is likely that many of our customers will not be able to travel and we will be offering refunds and rebooking for the passengers on cancelled flights.”
British Airways condemned the action, describing it as “completely unacceptable” and faulted the union for “destroying the plans of tens of thousands of our customers”.
Crew will come from other airlines: The airline stated that flights with BA CityFlyer, Sun-Air and Comair were not affected and it disclosed that it was exploring options to supplement the fleet by using aircraft and crew from other airlines.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chief Executive, said the airline offered the pilots a fair deal and promised to increase every captain’s pay to more than £200,000 a year. He claimed they were ill-advised by the union.
The union, on its part, said the airline wasn’t fair to its members. It said the pilots were made to take pay cuts and give up their annual leaves without anything to show for it. It said this is the first time it is happening, but it had to do so due to frustration and poor welfare packages.
“Over recent years, BA pilots have made sacrifice after sacrifice to assist the company such as taking a pay cut, productivity increases, closing the final salary pension scheme, giving up annual leave days, a new rostering system, and reducing flying pay.
“In what is British Airways’ centenary year, this will be the very first time its pilots will go on strike. They do so as a last resort and with enormous frustration at the way the business is now being run. Our ballot is valid until January, and more dates may be announced until such time as this matter is resolved.”