UNITE, Britain’s largest union, yesterday announced a new round of strikes over 20 days at British Airways.
This follows the third overwhelming vote by Unite’s cabin crew members at BA, rejecting the company’s ‘offer’ in a ballot last week.
BA bosses failed to put forward any new proposals to settle the dispute over the weekend, so Unite announced strikes on May 18-22 inclusive, May 24-28 inclusive, May 30-June 3rd inclusive, and June 5-9 inclusive.
In a statement, Unite’s Joint General Secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley commented: ‘Passengers and investors alike will be dismayed that British Airways management rejected an approach by the union over the weekend, after their offer had been comprehensively turned down by their own employees.
‘Cabin crew are left with no choice but to take further strike action.
‘There can be no industrial peace without meaningful negotiations and while management victimises trade unionists and uses disciplinary procedures in a witch-hunt.’
They said the seven days’ notice of strike action gives BA ‘sufficient time to do the sensible thing and reopen meaningful negotiations’.
Unite said it was also intending to hold a further industrial action ballot of BA cabin crew ‘over issues which have arisen from the company’s conduct during the dispute.’
On the closing day of the latest ballot of Unite cabin crew members, the BASSA branch secretary Duncan Holley was sacked by BA.
The ballot saw an 81 per cent vote against the BA offer, which refused to fully reinstate travel allowances to staff who took part in the previous round of strikes.
Unite joint leader Tony Woodley warned members that BA was trying to break the union ‘by a process of bullying, humiliation and piecemeal victmisation until you are left with no effective protection’.