British Airways has lost its legal challenge against strike action by BALPA at the Court of Appeals. The carrier is attempting to block strike action by a portion of its pilots related to pay.
The latest ruling means that BALPA is now able to proceed with strike action, although dates have yet to be confirmed. Despite this, British Airways and BALPA have agreed to meet at ACAS to discuss the matter today. Thankfully, any strike action requires 14 days notice, so flights will not be affected until mid-August should the strike go ahead.
The strike action revolves around the pay that the pilots receive. British Airways is offering pilots an 11.5% pay rise over three years. The airline claims that this raise is “fair” and tells us it “has been accepted by the members of the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 per cent of all British Airways colleagues.”
The pilot union disagrees that the proposed pay deal is fair. In fact, they wouldn’t be proposing strike action if they agreed with it. They argue instead that a profit share scheme could be more appropriate.
What happens now?
BALPA has been very clear in press releases that they wish to resolve the issue diplomatically, and that strike action will only be used as a last resort. In a press release, the pilot’s union said,
“We have called on BA to hold further talks at ACAS and they have agreed to meet at ACAS today and for the rest of this week for one last try to resolve this dispute by negotiation.”
Additionally, passengers should not worry too much yet, as BALPA are required to give 14 days notice prior to strike action. This means that the earliest strike action could commence is Wednesday 14th of August if any action was announced today.
What should passengers do?
While we hope that strike action does not happen, there is a chance that it now could. British Airways told Simple Flying, “We are very sorry for the disruption BALPA’s strike action will cause our customers.”
They went on to add, “We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers’ travel plans.”
While not commenting on the potential impact to customers at this stage, the airline does advise that customers ensure that their contact details are up to date. This will allow the airline to contact them, should their travel plans be threatened.
Simple Flying will, of course, keep readers up to date with the outcome of this situation.
Are you due to fly on British Airways soon? Are you concerned about the potential strike action? Let us know in the comments.