British Airways Pilots Vote To Strike

According to BALPA, British Airways pilots have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike in a row over pay. The ballot, which will potential affect flights from London, was announced today.

British Airways, BALPA, Pilot Strike
British Airways pilots represented by BALPA have voted to go on strike. Photo: British Airways

There are many people in British aviation threatening to go on strike this summer. This has been the case with two groups of pilots, in addition to check-in staff working on behalf of easyJet. However, the latest group to join in on the action is British Airways Pilots who belong to BALPA, the British Airline Pilot Asociation.

The details

BALPA had been balloting its British Airways pilots over the possibility of strike action. The ballot’s results were announced by the union today and were overwhelming. In total, 90% of members took part in BALPA’s ballot. Of that 90% of members, 93% voted in favor of strike action.

British Airways, BALPA, Pilot Strike
93% of those who voted were in favor of strike action. Photo: British Airways

The strike has been proposed over the pay that the airline’s pilots receive. While British Airways has claimed a rise of 11.5 percent over three years is fair, the union disagrees. They argue instead that a profit share scheme could be more appropriate.

What has British Airways said?

Simple Flying reached out to the airline. They told us the following:

We are very disappointed that BALPA, the pilots’ union, has chosen to threaten the travel plans of thousands of our customers, over the summer holidays, with possible strike action.  We remain open to working with BALPA to reach an agreement, which we have been doing since December. Our proposed pay offer of 11.5 per cent over three years is fair, and by contrast to BALPA, the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 per cent of all British Airways colleagues, have already recommended the same pay offer to their members.

They went on to add that they would “pursue every avenue” in order to avoid disruption to passengers. This will involve the airline visiting the High Court tomorrow to seek an injunction against any proposed strike action.

British Airways, BALPA, Pilot Strike
Passengers shouldn’t worry yet as no dates have been set for strike action. Photo: British Airways

Should passengers worry?

Passengers shouldn’t panic just yet. While the vote has taken place, there are not any dates currently planned for the strikes. That is not, however, to say that strikes will not take place. Two weeks notice is required before any strike action takes place. However, BALPA says that they hope the dispute can be resolved before any strike action actually takes place.

As of 2018, British Airways had around 45,000 employees. With around 10 percent of British Airways colleagues belonging to BALPA, this gives around 4,500 employees affected.

Simple Flying will keep readers up to date with any developments to this story. Are the pilots right to go on strike? Let us know who you side with in the comments!