Unite says 97 percent of British Airways workers back strike in pay dispute


British Airways is facing strikes this summer after ground and cabin staff backed industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Unite, which represents 16,000 workers at the airline, says it secured a 97 percent majority in a consultative ballot

The threat comes on top of ongoing cancellations and delays, caused by post-pandemic short-staffing, that have plagued many airlines and airports.

Unite says the disruption is “self-inflicted” and caused by Covid layoffs.

“To anyone that has flown on British Airways recently, this overwhelming consultative ballot result will come as no surprise,” said a spokesman.

“British Airways management now can no longer ignore the universal discontent across their own workforce, in the way they have ignored the needs of their own customers.

“Despite BA claiming hundreds of millions of pounds of furlough pay from the government, thousands of experienced staff were dismissed, and have simply not been replaced. A self-inflicted shortage of check-in staff, loaders, baggage handlers and cabin crew now means that rather than soaring post covid, BA’s return to the skies faces a bumpy landing.”

Unite said the results of the consultative ballot means it can now proceed to a full ballot if talks fail.

A BA spokesman said: “This isn’t a ballot for industrial action, and while not surprising given the issues across the transport sector, it’s disappointing.

“After a deeply difficult two years which saw the business lose more than £4bn, we still offered payments to our colleagues for this year. We remain committed to open and honest talks with our trade unions about their concerns.”

Separately, Ryanair could face strike action by Spanish crew later this month and in July.

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