Striking members of Unite working as cabin crew for British Airways mixed fleet will be taking their battle against low pay to Brighton tomorrow (March 4) with a protest at the British Airways sponsored i360 attraction on the town’s seafront.
Tomorrow’s protest, at the worlds’ tallest moving observation tower, (Lower Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2LN from 11pm – 1pm), falls on the second day of a seven day strike which started today (March 3).
Workers at the British Airways i360 are paid at least the living wage and a starting salary which is nearly £5,500 more than that of mixed fleet cabin crew.
The latest round of strikes involving mixed fleet cabin crew working long and short haul flights out of Heathrow takes the total number of strike days during the dispute to 26. It comes as British Airways continue to threaten and bully mixed fleet cabin crew with ‘consequences’ if they exercise their right to strike.
The most recent threats include stripping striking cabin crew of their bonus for 2016 and 2017 in addition to removal of the ‘my incentive’ payment for the whole of 2017 and staff travel for two years.
Over the course of the dispute strike 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.
In a show of solidarity Unite members have come together and formed a food bank to support low paid mixed fleet cabin crew.
“Menacing the low paid mixed fleet cabin crew with threats and sanctions for exercising their right to strike is a shameful way for British Airways to behave,” said Unite national officer Oliver Richardson.
“Despite the bullying behaviour, Unite members continue to show great resolve in their fight against low pay,” he added. “Tomorrow they will be taking their message to the British Airways sponsored i360 attraction on Brighton’s seafront.
“We would urge the public and customers of the i360 to offer their support and stand with British Airways’ mixed fleet cabin crew and say ‘BA low pay no way.’”
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 an hour flying pay. Unite estimates that on average mixed fleet cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, a year.
Pic by Stephen Higgs