Belfast Telegraph

Cabin crew with British Airways to stage fresh strike in pay dispute

British Airways cabin crew are to stage a fresh strike in a dispute over pay.

Members of Unite will walk out for 72 hours from January 19 following two days of industrial action this week.

The union warned of "continuing and deepening" anger among members of the so-called mixed fleet crew, who have joined BA since 2010.

Unite claims they are on "poverty" pay rates, with many forced to take on second jobs or turn up for shifts if they are sick because they cannot afford to be off ill.

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: "British Airways should be under no illusion about our members' determination to secure a settlement that addresses their concerns over poverty pay.

"Seeking to squeeze ever more from cabin crew and making passengers pay for services which were once complimentary is a sad state of affairs for an airline which once described itself as the 'world's favourite'.

"We would urge British Airways to avoid the inconvenience and disruption of industrial action by meaningfully addressing levels of poverty pay which are causing financial worry and distress to 'mixed fleet' cabin crew."

Unite said over 800 mixed fleet cabin crew workers have joined the union since the start of the dispute, taking membership to over 2,900.

BA said this week's 48-hour strike had failed in its objective of disrupting customers, maintaining that more than 70% of mixed fleet cabin crew reported for work as normal.

A statement said: "We operated nearly 1,600 flights over the two days, as planned, and transported all 210,000 customers to their destinations.

"So it is bizarre, as well as regrettable, that mixed fleet Unite branch has announced further strike dates.

"We will again aim to ensure that all our customers travel to their destinations in this period and we will publish more details on Monday once we have finalised our contingency plans.

"Unite's attempt to create uncertainty for customers and further division among its own members is completely without justification."

BA said its pay offer for mixed fleet crew was consistent with deals agreed with Unite for other British Airways workers, reflected pay awards by other companies and will ensure that rewards for mixed fleet remain in line with those for cabin crew at its competitors.