BA to challenge Unite strikes

15 May 2010 by BusinessTraveller

British Airways is to seek a High Court injunction to stop the latest strikes by cabin crew, stating that the Unite union failed to comply with certain requirements regarding sending members the breakdown of ballot results.

The latest cabin crew walkout is due to commence on Tuesday May 18, but BA will now go to the High Court on Monday in an attempt to stop the strike taking place.

According to the carrier, section 231 of  the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 requires unions to send everyone eligible to vote details of the exact breakdown of the ballot result. A statement from BA said:

“We do not believe Unite properly complied with this requirement. We wrote to the general secretaries of the union yesterday [Thursday], asking them to explain to us how they discharged this obligation and, based on Unite’s replies, we believe that they failed to comply with the legal requirement.”

The move comes after Friday’s offer to both BA and Unite of talks by the arbitration and conciliation services ACAS, aimed at avoiding the latest round of strikes. Responding to the invitation a Unite spokesperson said, “We are ready to meet with BA under any auspices to try to find a solution”.

Unite announced 20 days of strikes earlier this month, due to take place between May 18-23, May 24-28, May 30-June 3, and June 5-9. BA said that it would fly “more than 70 per cent of customers” during the first strike period, aiming to operate more than 60 per cent of long-haul services from Heathrow, and more than 50 per cent of short-haul flights.

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