The British Airways Pilots Association says “it is pleased it has successfully defended an application for a High Court injunction brought against it by British Airways in relation to its strike ballot of members”.
BALPA had announced the result of a strike ballot earlier this week, with 93 per cent voting in favour of industrial action on a 90 per cent turnout.
BA went to the High Court to seek an injunction against potential strikes, but BALPA confirmed in a statement that “the judge presiding over the case determined that the pilots union had issued its ballot correctly and therefore the ballot result could stand”.
Commenting on the news BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:
“While we’re pleased with the judge’s decision, we’re frustrated that time has been wasted. BA could have spent this time coming back to the negotiating table instead of trying – and failing – to tie us up in legal knots.
“This delay will now continue with BA seeking to appeal against the Hight Court’s decision.
“As a result it’s now likely the talks scheduled with ACAS on Friday will have to be postponed.
“We ask that BA thinks hard about why 93% of our members feel so strongly about taking strike action.
“The company itself has admitted that even one day of strike action would cost most than what our pilots are asking for, so the ball really is in their court here, to look after their pilots and ensure the hardworking public get to continue their holidays as planned.
“We have still not set any strike dates to give BA one last chance to commit to negotiating on pilots pay and rewards with us at ACAS later this week.”
Two weeks’ notice would need to be given by BALPA before industrial action could take place.
British Airways confirmed to Business Traveller that it is taking the case to the Court of Appeal, and said that “BALPA have confirmed they won’t be announcing any strike action until it’s heard”.
The carrier also provided the following statement (relating to yesterday’s High Court decision):
“We are very disappointed with today’s decision. We will continue to pursue every avenue to protect the holidays of thousands of our customers this summer.
“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 remain open to working with BALPA to reach agreement, which we have been doing since December, and we urge BALPA to return to talks as soon as possible.
“Further information and updates are available at ba.com.”