Strike Ballot Starts For Cabin Crew

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Workers demonstrate at Heathrow during strike action by the cabin crew earlier this year. A new strike ballot is under way
Workers demonstrate at Heathrow during strike action by the cabin crew earlier this year. A new strike ballot is under way

Voting papers have been sent to more than 10,000 BASSA (British Airways Stewards and Stewardesses Association) members of Unite for a fresh strike ballot at the airline.

Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary, said yesterday: ‘When this dispute started, the issue was making savings to help the company through a very difficult period for the industry.

‘The union offered multi-million pound concessions which all but met management’s requirements.

‘BA however preferred imposition, provoking a dispute which has cost the company vastly greater sums and done great damage to its reputation.

‘The dispute has been prolonged by vindictive measures directed against cabin crew – in recent months, BA has put nearly 70 loyal workers through hell and sacked 13 of them because they supported their union.

‘This is surely unprecedented in modern day British corporate life.

‘We have made every effort in prolonged negotiations with management to find an acceptable resolution to the outstanding problems but sadly find that we must now conduct a fresh ballot in order to defend our members.’

Unite says the five issues between the crew and the airline are:

1. The immediate restoration of staff travel concessions, in full, to the crew from whom they were taken by BA.

2. Binding arbitration, through ACAS, of all cabin crew disciplinary cases related to the original dispute, which led to 22 days of strike action between March and May 2010.

3. The restoration of all earnings docked from crew who were genuinely off sick during strike dates.

4. Full and proper discussion of the trade union facilities agreement at the company with the immediate removal of all threats and sanctions made by BA in relation to this.

5. The introduction of mixed fleet on different terms and conditions without the agreement of the trade union.

The ballot will close on 21 January 2011.