Unite has announced that its cabin crew members working for British Airways Mixed Fleet will take a further six days of strike action at the start of February.
Members of the union are continuing a dispute over what the organization brands “poverty pay”. Unite will call members out on strike on February 5th-7th and 9th-11th.
The decision comes after an open letter urged British Airways to get back around the negotiating table. In the letter, sent to British Airways, Unite representatives for Mixed Fleet cabin crew urged the UK’s national carrier to take a different route.
The letter read: “Your reluctance to offer a reasonable pay deal to our members, yet spend what we believe is now reaching millions of pounds in trying to quash strike action, suggests money is available and this is a question of ideology.
“We urge you to recognize that there is a chance here for British Airways to take a different route.” As part of the dispute British Airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew have so far staged two stoppages, resulting in five days of strike.
In a statement, British Airways said: “We have flown all customers to their destinations during the previous strikes by Mixed Fleet Unite and we will ensure this happens again. “We will publish more details on Tuesday once we have finalized our contingency plans in relation to the strikes called for February 5th-7th. “On Thursday, February 2nd, we will publish more details in relation to the second-strike period, February 9th-11th.
“Our pay offer for Mixed Fleet crew is consistent with deals agreed with Unite for other British Airways colleagues. “It also reflects pay awards given by other companies in the UK and will ensure that rewards for Mixed Fleet remain in line with those for cabin crew at our airline competitors.”
Since 2010, all British Airways new cabin crew employees join the Mixed Fleet, where despite promises that pay would be ten per cent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just £12,192 with £3 an hour flying pay, argues Unite.
Unite estimates that on average Mixed Fleet cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, a year. Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “Rather than addressing poverty pay, British Airways is spending money hand over fist on chartering in aircraft to cover striking cabin crew.
“If it can afford to waste money in such a manner then British Airways can clearly afford to address pay levels which are among the lowest in the industry. “We would urge British Airways to wake up to the determination of our members, who contribute massively to the billions of pounds in profits the airline generates, and get around the negotiating table to resolve the dispute and avoid a further six days of costly strike action.”