British Airways’ Pilots have suspended their industrial action, which was to commence on September 27th, the third time.
This is after carrying out an earlier threat of a two-day strike action that cost the airline a total of £80 million over the lingering issue of pay disputes.
The decision of the Pilots to cancel the strike was communicated by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) General Secretary Brian Strutton in a statement.
“Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this (pay) dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course,” Strutton said.
What this means: The Pilots are now open for negotiation over the preferred increase in their pay as they have sobered up for the moment in a period of reflection. Knowing fully well the damage strike caused the brand.
Finally, a sigh of relief: The previous strike caused more than 1,700 flight cancellations as well as air-ticket refunds. A spokesman for the Airline who reacted to the new development promised to respond soonest while taking their time to weigh the whole situation.
“We have just received this news. We are considering the implications and we will give updates in due course,” the spokesperson said.
Prior to this, the Airline had begun cancelling flights scheduled for 27th September since last Thursday (due to fear of another strike); they promised to revoke that line of action and reinstate as many of the cancelled flights as possible, even though flight options for 27 September are still in doubt. They, however, promised to circulate the news to their customers before the date.
What you should know: The airline was forced to cancel 1,700 flights last week during the pilots’ walkout over pay. Some 200,000 passengers had to change their travel plans because of the strikes.
A glimmer of Hope: BALPA eagerly anticipates the round table discussion as it expects the Airline to change its approach and negotiate seriously with Pilots in order to dissolve the issue for good.
BALPA General secretary Brian Strutton stated that the Pilots lifted the strike for common sense to prevail. Although he maintained that they have the right to announce further strike dates if the decision is not favourable with them.
The backstory: British Airways Pilots announced a three-day strike action over failure to settle a pay dispute that has persisted for a long time. The strike was expected to take place for three days – 9th, 10th and 27th of September.
The two-day mass action on September 9th and 10th cost the airline an estimated £40 million a day which took place for the first time in 100 years of its existence. The strike caused a cancellation of 1,700 flights and a disruption for 195,000 passengers.
In their defence, the Airline offered a pay rise of 11.5% to the aggrieved pilots for three years and promised a raise of £200,000 for captains, however, these offers were met with dissatisfaction as the Pilots felt they deserved better, asking for an even bigger chunk of the company’s profits.
British Airways acknowledged the pilots’ past sacrifice of taking pay cuts for the good of the company including salary cuts, pension cuts and total forfeiture of leave allowance. Notwithstanding, the Airline believes the strike action was BALPA’s way of forcing its hand to grant an astronomical salary increase, alongside juicy welfare packages since the company is now recording profits of £2 billion a year.