Close to 2,900 British Airways (BA) staff planned to walk out of work last Friday over disputes over pay and benefits. Though BA says that pay is in line with the industry standard for cabin crew, Unite, a worker’s union, said that the strike was fueled off of loss of certain benefits for crew members who had taken part in “earlier industrial action”. Unite also says that BA’s ‘mixed-fleet’ cabin crew are on lower pay than other crew. Workers had planned to walk out for four days.
However, participants decided to delay the strike after BA opened negotiations with its worker unions. Unite says that it is taking legal cases for and negotiating on behalf of 1400 crew members who say travel benefits were stripped after taking part in previous strikes. Talks will be held at the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service.
“Punishing staff for using legitimate industrial means to reach a wage deal is a culture that Unite cannot accept,” said Unite Assistant Secretary General Howard Beckett.
The strike comes two weeks after a massive IT failure left 74,000 BA passengers stranded in airports around the world for hours. The crash cancelled flights up to three days after it occurred.
According to BA, full time cabin crew earn £21,000 based on pay, allowances, incentives, and bonuses in their first year with the airline.
“We have reached a deal on pay. Strike action is completely unnecessary,” said a spokesperson for BA. The airline is pressing Unite to present the deal to its members.