The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, with 93 per cent voting in favour on a 90 per cent turnout.
The result could lead to industrial action over the summer period, but no strike dates have yet been set, as BA is set to go to the High Courts today (Tuesday July 23) to seek an injunction.
Earlier this month BALPA said that talks between the union and airline had “broken down without agreement”, and in a statement BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:
“This strong result demonstrates the resolve of BA pilots, and shows BA that it must table a sensible improved offer if a strike is to be averted. Sadly three days of ACAS talks have not moved the company’s position one iota. Settlement of this dispute is in BA’s hands.
“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November – it is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months.”
The union said that with BA’s attempts to injunct any potential strike action, “any further negotiations are on hold while we prepare to defend our right to take this action”.
The union said that it believes “the cost to BA to settle [the] dispute in full is significantly less than the cost would be of even a single day’s strike action”.
Two weeks’ notice would need to be given by BALPA before industrial action could take place, so the earliest any strikes could take place is August 6.
British Airways has provided Business Traveller with the following statement regarding the vote:
“We are very disappointed that BALPA, the pilots’ union, has chosen to threaten the travel plans of thousands of our customers, over the summer holidays, with possible strike action. We remain open to working with BALPA to reach an agreement, which we have been doing since December.
Our proposed pay offer of 11.5 per cent over three years is fair, and by contrast to BALPA, the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 per cent of all British Airways colleagues, have already recommended the same pay offer to their members.
“We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to protect our customers’ travel plans and avoid industrial action and we urge BALPA to return to talks as soon as possible.”
As regards today’s High Court action, the carrier said that it continues “to pursue every avenue to find a solution to protect our customers’ travel plans and avoid industrial action”.