British Airways strike on the cards

22 February 2010

British Airways passengers are once again facing travel chaos after more than 7,400 cabin crew voted in favour of strike action.

The airline’s biggest union, Unite, previously organised a 12-day strike over the busy Christmas and New Year period but this was called off after the High Court found the balloting process was illegal.

However, in January Unite confirmed its intention to hold another ballot among its 12,000 members - the majority of whom have now voted in favour of industrial action.

Unite says 80.7% of all those who returned their ballot forms voted yes to industrial action - equal to 7,482 crew members. 

However, the union has not announced dates for industrial action.

Len McCluskey, assistant general secretary at Unite, says: "The only way forward for this airline is if all parties can negotiate a solution to the issues before us. In recent weeks we have been in serious discussion with British Airways -  We sincerely hope that the continued strength of the vote by crew will give it pause for thought."

In a statement, British Airways says it is considering its response to the strike threat and what action we will need to take to minimise disruption to our customers.


British Airways staff are angry about new employee contracts, introduced back in November, and cost-cutting measures introduced by the airline.

Unite was also attempting to overturn the airline’s measures through the courts but on Friday 19 February it lost its legal battle with the High Court ruling that British Airways acted within its rights.

The judge also rejected the union’s argument that it was not properly consulted on changes – including pay freezes and reducing the number of cabin crew on long-haul flights.

Following the ruling, McCluskey said it made “absolutely no difference” to the substance of its dispute with British Airways.

“We remain in negotiations with the company and hope that management will address the real concerns of cabin crew,” he added. “Should it fail to do so industrial action remains a possibility.”

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