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Article from BTNews 1 AUGUST 2022

Are BA pilots to strike?

Pilots’ union Balpa is reportedly preparing to threaten industrial action against British Airways after ballots secured pay rises for check-in and baggage staff.

Pilots’ union Balpa is reportedly preparing to threaten industrial action against British Airways after ballots secured pay rises for check-in and baggage staff.

Sean Doyle, BA Chief Executive, was warned during a meeting with pilot representatives that “only quantifiable actions… would be acceptable”, according to an email to its members, reported to have been seen by The Telegraph. “This did not occur”, the email said.

Pilots at BA agreed to sacrifice a portion of their salaries to mitigate job losses in the pandemic in a pay deal agreed in July 2020.

They accepted temporary pay cuts of 20%, falling to 8% over the following two years, allowing job cuts to be reduced from 1,255 to 270.

Union sources were said to indicate that there are increasing calls for a vote on strike action after the success of the Unite and GMB unions.

Ground handling crew halted planned industrial action after winning an 8% pay rise. Meanwhile, staff working for refuelling companies which service aircraft operated by other carriers at Heathrow have been offered a 10% wage increase.

‘“BA seems to ignore you until you issue a ballot’, is the sentiment among members. Within Balpa we don’t usually like to do that. We would rather take a grown-up approach. But we are under enormous pressure. And the longer this goes on, the harder it gets”.

Talks continued last week after Balpa wrote to the airline reasserting that the salary sacrifice scheme had to be abandoned.

Balpa general secretary Martin Chalk said: “We are in talks with British Airways and wish to persuade them that continuing deductions from our members’ pay is unwarranted. We should actually be talking about pay increases given the inflationary scenario”.

“Unless BA is prepared to walk with us down that road then we will have to consult with members to consider our next actions”.

The airline offered a 5% pay award to pilots earlier in 2022 despite the carrier losing more than £4bn over two years as a result of the pandemic.

A BA spokesperson said: “We remain committed to continuing talks with the union”.

www.ba.com

www.balpa.org

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