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BA strike could hit Belfast flights to Heathrow over Christmas

By Staff Reporter

Belfast flights to London Heathrow could face Christmas disruption after British Airways cabin crew voted for strike action.

Cabin crew voted overwhelmingly in favour of walkouts in a row over pay.

The airline has several direct flights from George Best Belfast City Airport to Heathrow each day.

It's not clear what impact the strikes could have if the action goes ahead.

Unite said its members backed walkouts by 4-1.

The dispute involves cabin crew who have joined the airline since 2010, with Unite saying they earn less than other staff.

Turnout in the ballot was 60%.

Unite said around 2,500 workers in BA's so-called Mixed Fleet, based at Heathrow, are involved in the dispute. The union claimed earnings were advertised between £21,000 and £25,000, but in reality started at just over £12,000 plus £3-an-hour flying pay.

Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: "Our members have overwhelmingly voted for strike action because British Airways' pay rates are indefensible and the crew are at breaking point.

"Mixed Fleet crew earn just over the minimum wage and below the national average. Significant numbers of crew are taking on second jobs, and many go to work unfit to fly because they can't afford to be sick.

"British Airways bosses need to wake up to the anger and the injustice here."

A BA spokesman said: "We remain focused on resolving this issue as quickly as possible without any disruption."

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