Passengers of British Airways are once again faced with the threat of strike action as members of the airline’s cabin crew vote in favour of industrial action. The latest ballot could see employees walking out over Easter and the school half-term holidays, although no firm dates have yet been announced.
Minister for aviation, Theresa Villiers, has slammed the Unite union for balloting its members saying that nothing would be achieved by calling yet another strike and disrupting the plans of the travelling public. In 2010, 22 days of industrial action by BA’s cabin crew meant hundreds of services had to be cancelled and is estimated to have cost the flag-carrier around £150 million.
Len McCluskey, Unites incoming general secretary, has apparently called for renewed peace talks with BA. A deal was supposed to have been agreed in October last year between Unites joint secretary, Tony Woodley, and BA’s chief executive Willie Walsh. However, militants did not agree and the latest strike ballot was announced.
According to Unite, the call for further industrial action has been supported by 78.5 per cent of the members who turned out. McCluskey said that the turnout of 75 per cent was greater than the last ballot, and that once again cabin crew were showing that they support the union’s decisions and are dissatisfied with the way they are being treated by their employers.
BA has disputed the figures given by the union saying that strike action had only been supported by 43 per cent of its cabin crew.
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