British Airways pilots win right to strike over £150k pay – holidays face travel chaos

British Airways pilots are now able to go on strike over pay after they defeated British Airways’ legal challenge. The Court of Appeal has rejected British Airways’ attempt to injunct British Airline Pilots’ Association’s (BALPA’s) proposed industrial action on a technicality. The legality of BALPA’s ballot has been affirmed, confirmed a statement from BALPA this morning. Dates for the strike have not yet been confirmed. 

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “The Court of Appeal has today rightly dismissed BA’s attempt to injunct this industrial action on a technicality.

“BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution.

“Now the window for negotiation and compromise is closing fast.”

“BA need to wake up to reality. Our ballot returned 93 per cent in favour of strike action. There is a serious issue here and BA has so far refused to help us tackle it.

“On BA’s own figures submitted to the court, even a single day of strike action will cost far more than we believe it would take to settle this dispute.

“However, BALPA wants to resolve this matter through negotiation and so we are not announcing strike dates.

“Instead, 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.

“We have spent four days in talks at ACAS already, and BA refused to move their position one iota.

“But we hope they now recognise the seriousness of the situation and will work positively with us to find a way forward.

“We are not announcing strike dates today. In any event, we are required by law to provide BA with 14 days’ notice of any proposed strike action.”

BA pilots are paid an average basic salary of more than £150,000 a year, plus an hourly rate when they fly.

British Airways has said it hopes industrial action can still be avoided and urges customers to review their contact details.

A BA spokesman told “We are disappointed that the pilots’ union, BALPA, has chosen to threaten the holidays of thousands of our customers this summer with unprecedented strike action.

“We are very sorry for the disruption BALPA’s strike action will cause our customers.

“While no strike dates have yet been issued by BALPA, and they are required to give us 14 days’ notice of any intention to call strike action, we ask our customers to review their contact details by visiting, or by contacting their travel agent.

“We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers’ travel plans.

“Our proposed pay deal of 11.5 per cent over three years is fair, and by contrast to BALPA, has been accepted by the members of the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 per cent of all British Airways colleagues.”


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