Unite members working for British Airways’ mixed fleet put further pressure on the carrier on Tuesday 14 February by announcing four more days of industrial action on top of the four-day strike planned for later this week from Friday 17 February to Monday 20 February.
The newly announced walk-out will run from Wednesday 22 February to Saturday 25 February.
This is part on the ongoing dispute over pay between BA and mixed fleet cabin crew who are members of the union Unite.
It follows calls for British Airways to enter talks at the conciliation service Acas and reach an agreement to avoid further strike disruption, according to Unite.
British Airways Strike: Cabin crew will walk out next week
We would urge British Airways to reconsider its costly intransigence and enter talks at Acas
The union has said British Airways refused to take up the offer to reach a settlement, reulting in the latest escalation.
There has been a total of 11 days of strike action so far since the beginning of January 2017.
This industrial action has resulted in some flights being cancelled and aircraft being chartered from other airlines, known as wet leasing.
“For every hour British Airways ‘wet leases’ an aircraft from another airline to cover striking cabin crew, it costs in the region of £2,000 to £3,000,” said Unite regional officer Matt Smith.
“Our estimates put the amount of money British Airways has spent on defending the dispute and poverty pay at £1 million.
“This is money which the airline has taken a conscious decision to give to other airlines rather than addressing pay levels which are forcing hardworking mixed fleet cabin crew into financial hardship.
“We would urge British Airways to reconsider its costly intransigence and enter talks at Acas and reach an agreement.”
According to Unite, since 2010 all British Airways new cabin crew employees join what is called ‘mixed fleet’, where despite promises that pay would be 10 per cent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just £12,192 with £3 an hour flying pay. Unite estimates that on average ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, a year.
British Airways has said in a statement: “All British Airways customers will fly to their destinations during the proposed industrial action by Mixed Fleet Unite on February 17 to 20.
“All flights to and from London Gatwick will operate as normal. All flights to and from London City will operate as normal. The vast majority of flights to and from London Heathrow will operate as normal.
“To enable all customers to travel we will be merging a very small number of flights at Heathrow – about one per cent of total flights planned. We are contacting customers on those flights with the options available to them.
“We will publish more details over the weekend in relation to further strikes called by Mixed Fleet Unite for February 22 to 25, but as in previous strikes all customers will fly to their destinations.”
The premium carrier added: “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.”