British Airways Pilots to Vote on Strike

BRITISH AIRWAYS pilots have announced plans to vote on strike action which could be set to impact the travel plans and flights of thousands of families. This is what you need to know about the potential BA industrial action.

British Airways pilots could be set to go on strike this summer, potentially disrupting the flights of thousands of Britons. This is the latest travel advice. Three unions - representing 40,000 staff across pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and engineers - have joined forces for the first time to reject a pay deal. British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) announced on Wednesday that it would hold a strike ballot for pilots to vote on industrial action.

Fellow trade unions Unite and GMB also revealed they would also hold ballots. 

BALPA has said it would ballot members for a full walkout, with the month-long ballot due to start next week.

The pilot's union represents nine in ten BA pilots meaning large numbers of aircraft would have to be grounded should they walk out.

if a resolution cannot be found, pilots could be joined in their strike by cabin crew and ground handlers.

British Airways and the unions have been in discussion over pilots’ salary since November.

However, negotiations have since broken down, with BALPA rejecting the most recent pay offer which was made in May.

The pay offer proposed by BA involved an 11.5 per cent pay rise over three years which is well above inflation. 

However, the union are demanding a bigger increase alongside an improved profit-sharing scheme.

In a media statement, BALPA said: “Set against a backdrop of record profits, and despite there being some progress, BA’s offer is too little too late.

“It also fails to address the fundamental principle of fairness by denying employees a reasonable share of the success they have helped produce.”

BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton told “We regret the breakdown after six months of negotiations with British Airways that has led to us issuing a strike ballot notice.

"Pilots have no wish to disrupt passengers travel plans so BALPA will be doing everything it can to reach a deal with BA – the question is, will BA reciprocate?”

A British Airways spokeswoman told "We are extremely disappointed that the pilots' union, BALPA, has raised the prospect of a ballot for industrial action.

"We urge them to join us for mediation with the conciliation service ACAS, to reach an agreement and protect hard-working families planning their summer breaks.

"We believe our pay and benefits for pilots are among the best in the industry, with around 1,000 applications from pilots who want to move to us from other airlines every year. 

BALPA is posting out ballots on 26 June, with a closing date of 22 July, according to The Independent. This would mean, if strike action were to go ahead, it would begin, at the earliest on 5 August.

A Unite spokesperson also told “Unite reps will be having further discussions with BA and meeting in the coming days to discuss their next steps.

"These next steps could include a consultative ballot on any revised pay offer or a ballot for industrial action.”

BA pilots are paid an average basic salary of more than £150,000 a year, plus an hourly rate when they fly.

According to HolidayPirates, in partnership with FlightrightMore, than 7.4 million holidaymakers have been hit by flight delays and cancellations so far this year in the UK, following significant events, such as the Gatwick and Heathrow drone incidents and the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX planes. 

Their research found only 9 per cent of British holidaymakers realise that they have up to six years to claim compensation and 25 per cent are unaware of their right to claim a refund after a flight delay of three hours (or more).