Aviation

British Airways crew to strike over ‘Pov’ pay

Daisy Melwani

Some 2500 British Airways ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew based at London’s Heathrow Airport will hold a 48-hour strike over “poverty pay”.

The industrial action will be held on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 January, and is expected to mostly affect regional services.

The airline confirmed fights from its other airports, London Gatwick and London City, will resume as scheduled. According to a report on IBTimes UK, British Airways said a “very small number” of flights to and from London Heathrow will be merged during the strike, affecting passengers estimated departure times.

Despite the strike, the airline is reported as saying passengers will be able to fly to their destinations as planned, and the “vast majority” of services will commence per normal, the paper reports.

BA said in a statement: “We look forward to welcoming more than 200,000 customers onto our flights across the two days and ensuring they can all proceed with their holiday breaks, visits to friends and family or business meetings.”

“We urge Unite to abandon its strike plans which are serving only to cause anxiety among our Mixed Fleet cabin crew colleagues who do a tremendous job for our customers. We continue to be available for further dialogue with Unite.”

The strike is over pay of British Airways cabin crew workers who work on both short and long-haul flights. The union representing the staff, Unite, accused BA of not addressing the issue of “poverty pay”, referring to the discrimination in pay packages for certain ‘mixed fleet’ staff and other long-serving employees.

The paper reports Unite regional officer Matt Smith said in a statement in December: “Our members have overwhelmingly voted for strike action because British Airways’ pay rates are indefensible and the crew are at breaking point. The airline’s boss Willie Walsh has pocketed €8.8 million and the parent company IAG reported profits of €1.4 billion.

“Mixed fleet crew earn just over the minimum wage and below the national average. Significant numbers of crew are taking on second jobs, many go to work unfit to fly because they can’t afford to be sick. British Airways bosses need to wake up to the anger and the injustice here.”

“Not only are the pay rates indefensible but in aviation, low pay is a safety issue.”

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