Package holiday firms Late Rooms and Super Break collapse
By Joel Adams for MailOnline
British Airways pilots are set to go on a summer holiday-wrecking strike because the £20,000 pay increase they’ve been offered is ‘not enough’.
Four thousand plane captains could walk out in mid-August after the Court of Appeal rejected BA’s application for an injunction to prevent strike action.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) rejected an above-inflation pay deal worth 11.5 per cent over three years, the Times reported, even though it has been accepted by unions representing other BA staff.
BA captains are paid an average of £167,000, including a flying allowance, which means the offered 11.5 per cent increase would be worth more than £20,000 over three years for senior pilots.
Grounded: BA flights could be stuck on the tarmac if 4,000 pilots walk out later this month
Some are paid more than £200,000 and the average for all pilots is believed to be just under £90,000.
Up to 145,000 passengers a day could be affected if there is no breakthrough in talks being held at Acas, in a move which could cost the company £40million a day.
The pilots, who took a pay cut when the company faced financial difficulties in recent years, say they are looking for a larger share of the profits now the company is in better financial shape. BA made almost £2 billion last year.
One captain told The Times that there was huge support for the strike, saying that staff felt mistreated after agreeing to significant pay cuts during the recession several years ago.
He accused the airline of ‘snipping away’ at perks such as the quality of hotels during layovers. ‘It used to be five-star, it’s now four-star, some I would think might even struggle to achieve that,’ he said.
‘The problem with lower-standard hotels is they tend to be noisier and that becomes an issue when getting enough sleep to do your job.’
He added: ‘We’re working a lot harder than when I joined more than 25 years ago.
British Airways pilots are set to go on a summer holiday-wrecking strike because the £20,000 pay increase they’ve been offered is ‘not enough’
‘We took a big pay cut a few years ago when the company was in financial trouble and . . . I think the feeling is when we made the big sacrifice when times are hard, we’d like to share in the profits when times are good.’
A spokeswoman for Balpa told MailOnline she could not confirm when strike action would take place, that the union must give two weeks’ notice of any walk-out, and that talks with Acas were continuing.
She said the union would not be in a position to confirm if or when the walk-out would begin ‘until talks are concluded’.
The strike is by pilots based at Heathrow and Gatwick but will affect flights from all British airports including Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast.
Only BA Cityflyer flights from London City will be unaffected.
Balpa is also balloting for industrial action on Ryanair, which might also begin this month.
BA applied to the High Court for an injunction to block the strike. It argued that Balpa’s ballots did not comply with trade union law.
The case was thrown out last week and that decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal yesterday.
A British Airways spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘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 could 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 ba.com, 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.’