The Unite Union has announced a further three days of strikes by its British Airways mixed fleet crew members next week.
The 72-hour stoppage will take place between January 19 and 21, and follows a similar 48-hour strike earlier this week.
The industrial action is being taken over what Unite says are “poverty pay” levels for the carrier’s Mixed Fleet crew. In a statement Unite urged BA to “drop its confrontational stance and start listening to ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew about their legitimate concerns over pay”.
“British Airways should be under no illusion about our members’ determination to secure a settlement that addresses their concerns over poverty pay,” said Unite national officer Oliver Richardson.
“They work tirelessly to serve and keep passengers safe, while contributing massively to the success of British Airways and the billions of pounds in profits it makes.
“Yet rather than pay them a decent wage for playing a key part in this success, British Airways refuses to talk meaningfully about their legitimate concerns over poverty pay.
“Seeking to squeeze ever more from cabin crew and making passengers pay for services which were once complementary 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 says it estimates that on average mixed fleet crew earn £16,000, including allowances per year, although BA disputes this figure.
For its part British Airways said that this week’s 48-hour strike “failed in its objective of disrupting our customers”.
In a statement BA said:
“More than 70 per cent of Mixed Fleet cabin crew ignored the strike call and reported for work as normal.
“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 for January 19-21.
“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 (January 16) once we have finalised our contingency plans.
“Mixed Fleet Unite’s attempt to create uncertainty for customers and further division among its own members is completely without justification. We have spent many days in negotiation and agreed a deal with Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, before Christmas – but the Mixed Fleet Unite branch refused to recommend it and said it had been rejected on the basis of an online poll that lacked control over who voted or how many times an individual could vote.
“Our pay offer for Mixed Fleet crew is consistent with deals agreed with Unite for other British Airways colleagues. It also reflects pay awards given by other companies in the UK and will ensure that rewards for Mixed Fleet remain in line with those for cabin crew at our airline competitors.”