Unite has anounced it will ballot its BA members on a possible fresh wave of strike action, with BA calling the union “dysfunctional”.
Unite says it is staging a fresh ballot over four outstanding issues including the reinstatement of travel perks. The union says that the four concessions would not cost BA “a single penny”.
According to the BBC website, the ballotting process will begin in seven days’ time, with possibility of strike action in the New Year should members vote in favour of industrial action.
For its part BA has released the following statement:
“Tony Woodley shook hands with us on an agreement in October, and said he would let cabin crew vote on the deal with a recommendation for acceptance.
“Unite has broken this promise and instead has now chosen to create fresh uncertainty for customers and damage the interests of thousands of its own members within British Airways.
“We have said for some time that Unite is dysfunctional, and the disagreements between different sections of the union have been played out in public.
“In recent days, Unite has changed its position yet again, calling for fresh talks then announcing a strike ballot before such talks take place.
“Should any industrial action take place, we are confident that our well-established contingency plans will allow us to operate normal timetables at Gatwick and London City airports. At Heathrow, we will aim to run a substantial proportion of our short-haul programme and 100 per cent of our long haul operation.
“Today we have taken a big step toward our merger with Iberia. This will create a stronger business for the long-term benefit of our customers, our shareholders and our employees. Unite wants to lurch backwards to old-style union militancy. We are moving forwards.”
The news comes on the same day that BA shareholders approved the carrier’s merger with Iberia – see online news November 29.