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British Airways facing second cabin crew strike

PHOTO:AFP

PHOTO:AFP

A group of British Airways cabin crew will strike again next week in an ongoing pay dispute, trade union Unite announced on Thursday.More than 2,900 cabin crew will walk out for 72 hours from January 19, after two days of industrial action this week, Unite said in a statement.

It said there was “continuing and deepening” anger among so-called mixed fleet crew, who have joined British Airways since 2010 and work a combination of short and long-haul flights.

The trade union claims they are on “poverty” pay, with many forced to take on second jobs or turn up for shifts if they are sick because they cannot afford to be off ill.


“British Airways should be under no illusion about our members’ determination to secure a settlement that addresses their concerns over poverty pay,” said Unite national officer Oliver Richardson.

Unite claimed that a strike this week on Tuesday and Wednesday was strongly supported.

However, British Airways — which is owned by International Airlines Group (IAG) — claimed that more than 70 percent of the crew had reported for work as normal.

“We operated nearly 1,600 flights over the two days, as planned, and transported all 210,000 customers to their destinations,” BA said.

“So it is bizarre, as well as regrettable, that mixed fleet Unite branch has announced further strike dates,” it added.

Britain’s transport network faced transport chaos this week as a result of a number of strikes.

On Monday, industrial action shut down most of the London Underground network in a dispute over job cuts and staffing levels.

There was further disruption on Tuesday and Wednesday as workers on Southern Rail trains staged a strike, with another walkout due Friday.

The service, which runs between London and the south English coast, has been plagued by industrial action in a bitter dispute over the operator’s plans to downgrade the role of the train conductor.

Southern wants drivers to be able to operate train doors, not conductors, as is the case on many trains in Britain. But unions say this risks passenger safety.

With no sign of the dispute ending, the RMT union announced Thursday that its members would stage another 24-hour walkout on January 23, the day before drivers are due to strike again.


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