BRITISH Airways mixed fleet cabin crew are striking against poverty pay today in the first day of a 72-hour strike.
It follows last week’s two day stoppage, which saw hundreds of mixed fleet cabin crew stay away from work and mount picket lines around Heathrow airport. Operating out of Heathrow on both short and long haul flights, striking members of mixed fleet cabin crew are rallying from 7am at Bedfont and Feltham FC social club as well as setting up picket lines around Heathrow.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, whose constituency covers Heathrow Airport, will join the strikers, as will Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey. Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: ‘British Airways needs to drop its confrontational stance which is causing so much anger and leading to plummeting morale among its mixed cabin crew.
‘With British Airways’ parent company forecasting massive annual profits of around £2.3 billion, it is clear the airline can afford to recognise the hard work of its mixed fleet cabin crew by paying a proper decent wage.
‘Rather than trying to bully workers and focusing its resources on leasing aircraft to cover striking cabin crew, British Airways should focus its energies on trying to resolve our members’ legitimate concerns over poverty pay.’
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 a year, including allowances.
• Six hundred Atomic Weapons Establishment plc (AWE) workers are continuing their 48-hour ‘broken promises’ pensions strike at the two sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire today, and will be striking again for 48-hours on 30-31 January.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who is attending the picket lines this morning, said yesterday: ‘In the early 1990s, the then-Tory government made iron-clad promises to AWE workers regarding the future of their pensions, once they transferred to the private sector.
‘These promises have now been broken as the AWE bosses want to slash the retirement incomes by jettisoning the current defined benefit pension scheme. Our members could lose thousands of pounds when they retire, which is a disgrace. It is clear that this pledge has been broken and our members feel deeply betrayed. They have Unite’s 100 per cent support and solidarity in this dispute.’