More than 2,500 cabin crews of British Airways (LON:IAG) were expected to go on strike over demands for better pay just before Christmas, which is the busiest season for airline businesses around the world. The strike was expected to be called anytime after December 22m disrupting more than 50 routes. Union leaders had taken a poll, where 79 percent of their members were said to be in favor of a strike.
However, the Unite union has now revealed that they are suspending the strike, for the time being at least. British Airways issued a statement saying they welcome the move. The resolution comes after lengthy discussions at the ACAS or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Earlier, British Airways had offered a 2 percent pay hike.
British Airways Makes a New Offer to the Union and Its Members
Len McCluskey, who is the general secretary of Unite said, “We now have a new offer from the company which we will put to our members. The two-day strike over Christmas and Boxing Day is now suspended”. Union members will now decide whether the new offer from British Airways is acceptable to them. It is likely that Unite will ask their members for a vote once again.
McCluskey acknowledged that it is the public that always suffers whenever there is a dispute. “Any dispute is only brought about because there is a failure between management and the industrial relations within that company”, he said.
British Airways Crew Members Are Underpaid
Crew members of British Airways (LON:IAG) have been complaining for a while now that the average pay with allowances come to £16,000 every year. BA has disagreed, saying that when bonuses are added, the earnings come to around £21,000. Basic salary at the airline is £12,000 a year. However, the union accepts that there is a compensation of £3 for each hour of flying on top of this.
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 have challenged these findings. The union also pointed out that a lot of the workers have to take up a second job to make ends meet.
British Airways has also alleged that the union is coordinating industrial action, because baggage handlers, railways, and workers in the post office, were also supposed to call a strike this week. McCluskey has denied this.