British Airways Flight Attendants Begin Two-Week Strike over Pay Dispute

By Paul Riegler on 1 July 2017
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A BA 767 taking off from Newark

A BA 767 taking off from Newark

British Airways flight attendants began a two-week long strike Saturday in a continuing dispute over salary.

The job action was taken by members of the airline’s “mixed fleet” cabin crew, which consists of those hired since 2010 to work on both long- and short-haul flights. The wage dispute has been ongoing and the union that represents the flight attendants claims they are working for “poverty pay.” The walkout was prompted by sanctions taken against union members involved in previous strikes.

“We have set out the consequences for crew if they take strike action,” British Airways said in a statement referring to the current job action. “The purposes of these consequences are to encourage crew to come to work.”

The strike’s impact is likely to be limited. British Airways said it will operate a full schedule from London Gatwick and London City airports, while will merge some flights operating out of London Heathrow. The carrier has wet-leased nine Qatar Airways aircraft to lessen the impact as well.

The strike follows a series of incidents at the airline, culminating a little over one month ago when tens of thousands of travelers were left stranded by an IT outage the airline said was caused by a power surge.

“Customers will take a dim view and a great British brand risks being further tarnished,” said an officer of Unite, the union representing the flight attendants, Oliver Richardson, in a statement. “We call on British Airways to drop the threats and drop the sanctions and resolve this long-running dispute.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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