British Airways passengers could face more disruption in the New Year as Unite announces the dates of its latest strike ballot. The airline’s cabin crew has been asked by its union to consider five remaining issues in the log-running dispute and have been given between 21 December and 21 January in which to do so.
BA is claiming that an agreement was reached with Unite in October, but that the union has reneged on the deal. The remaining issues include BA agreeing to reimburse all cabin crew who were actually off work during the strikes due to illness who had their pay docked; conclude the outstanding disciplinary cases and restore workers with their travel perks.
The British flag-carrier has called Unite dysfunctional and claims that in the event of a walk-out it will endeavour to keep all services to schedule at City Airport and Gatwick. BA also intends to fly all of its long-haul services from Heathrow as well as the majority of its short-haul flights.
Tony Woodley, Unite’s joint general secretary, said most of the outstanding issues the union had with the carrier were to do with restoring dignity to BA’s workforce. He added that many members remained angry at how BA has been handling the dispute, but that he remained willing to return to the negotiating table at any time.
The dispute has been running for over a year now and has cost the airline more than £150 million. There have been 22 days of industrial action so far.