Risk of further BA strikes as more staff consulted

Image credit: Lancs Live

As unions confer with more workers about whether to stage pay strikes, industrial action at British Airways might extend wider throughout the UK.

At Heathrow Airport, about 700 employees, primarily check-in personnel, have already decided to strike during the summer vacation.

However, the GMB and Unite unions are also advising engineers and call centre employees to take action at Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle.

On Wednesday, hundreds of BA employees supported a strike in protest over a 10% salary cut implemented during the pandemic.

However, GMB members at Heathrow want the full pay cut to be undone. The airline has offered staff a one-time payment equal to 10% of their salary.

The wider consultation poll, which addresses general salary problems, is separate from the Heathrow issue.

A spokeswoman for the GMB said that thousands of BA engineers at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Scotland, as well as call centre employees in Newcastle and Manchester, are currently participating in a consultative poll for potential industrial action in a salary dispute.

People want to see the salary and conditions restored since they have watched the company being pushed into the dirt over a long period and are furious at how BA’s upper management cynically took advantage of the epidemic.

The consultation is being held to determine participation and any potential actions that the workforce may want to take. It is the time before a formal vote on taking strike action would be held.

While Scotland and Northern Ireland start their summer vacations on July 1, schools in England and Wales end on July 22. Heathrow employees could begin going on strike as early as July 7th. According to the law, unions must provide a corporation with 14 days’ notice before taking action.

Unions have not yet specified the strike’s dates, but they anticipate making a statement early next week.

International Airlines Group, the company’s owner, has already reduced the number of flights it operates between March and October by 10%.

Following the COVID lockdown, when the industry lost thousands of jobs as global travel came to a grinding halt, airlines and airports battled to keep up with an increase in demand for travel.