More than 2,500 cabin crews of British Airways (LON:IAG) are preparing to go on strike before Christmas, even as the airline is getting ready for higher volumes during the holiday season. According to the United union, which represents these crew members, the strike could be held on December 22. It is likely to disrupt about 50 routes.
Union representatives have already voted, and 79 percent of them favored the strike over a pay dispute. However, there is one last hope, as union workers are going to meet over the next couple of days to decide the final line of action. But insiders say that a strike is very much in the cards.
2 Percent Pay Hike Offer Rejected By the Union
A spokesperson of British Airways, says they are trying to negotiate with the union to avert this strike at such a busy time of the year. The airline said they have proposed a fair and reasonable pay increase. “We are extremely disappointed that the union is creating uncertainty for our customers. We remain focused on resolving this issue as quickly as possible without any disruption to customers”, the statement read.
But the union leaders disagree, saying that their members are not getting a decent salary. Half of the cabin crew at British Airways must do a second job so that they can pay their bills. Many crew members often have to sleep in their cars between shifts to survive. Further, they point out that British Airways has offered just a 2 percent pay hike, which has been rejected.
The union points out that average pay with allowances come to £16,000 every year for the cabin crew. BA disagrees, saying that when bonuses are added, it is something around £21,000. Basic salary at the airline is £12,000 a year.
British Airways Workers Depresses and Stressed
A recent poll conducted by the union revealed that 84 percent workers at the airline experience depression and stress because of their financial worries. British Airways, though, have challenged the findings of this poll.
Most of the workers who are expected to go on strike anytime after December 21 are based at the Heathrow Airport in London, which is among the busiest airports in the world. But, British Airways (LON:IAG) is assuring that a vast majority of the flights won’t be affected, as one in five cabin crew members are members of this union.