The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 10th February 2017

BA cabin crews on strike

CABIN crews employed by British Airways have been on strike for most of this week in a long running strike over poverty pay.

The strike by the BA mixed fleet cabin crews was organised by the giant union Unite and began with a three-day strike that began on Sunday 5th February, followed by another three day strike beginning on 9th February.

This follows two strikes in January involving a total of five days strike action.

The action has led to the cancellation of flights and the airline chartering, or “wet leasing”, aircraft from other airlines such as Titan Airways, Vueling and Thomson Airways to cover striking cabin crew.

The latest industrial action comes as British Airways refused last week’s offer of meaningful talks that was made in an open letter by Unite mixed fleet representatives.

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “Mixed fleet cabin crew members continue to show great courage in taking a stand against poverty pay at British Airways.

“Rather than issuing threats and wasting huge amounts of cash on chartering aircraft to cover striking cabin crew, British Airways should start valuing staff who contribute massively to the billions of pounds in profits the airline generates.

“British Airways needs to stop defending some of the lowest basic salaries in the airline industry and start addressing pay levels, which are forcing mixed fleet cabin crew into debt and second jobs to make ends meet.”

Since 2010 all British Airways new cabin crew employees join what is called “mixed fleet” where, despite promises that pay would be 10 per cent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just £12,192 with £3 per hour flying pay. Unite estimates that on average “mixed fleet” cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, per year.