Unite today (August 22) called on British Airways to use a ‘pause for peace’ to enter talks and find a resolution to the long running mixed fleet cabin crew dispute over pay and the sanctioning of striking workers.
Writing to Alex Cruz, the boss of British Airways, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said, “You will be aware that we have not issued any further notice for strike action which will currently end on August 30.
“This is in order to create a ‘pause for peace’ so that our respective teams can get around the table with a view to securing a mutually accepted resolution to the current dispute.
“Given the nature and length of the dispute I am more than willing to involve myself in any future talks with you and would ask that the company looks at a number of dates from August 31 onwards.”
The call comes as Unite members working for British Airways’ mixed fleet near the end of two months’ of strike action scheduled to finish after the August bank holiday on Wednesday, August 30.
The action involving cabin crew, working on short and long haul flights from Heathrow, has led to the cancellation of flights and British Airways spending millions on ‘wet leasing’ aircraft to cover striking cabin crew.
Unite is also pursuing legal action on behalf of mixed fleet cabin crew who have been sanctioned for taking strike action in the long-running dispute. Sanctions have included the removal of bonuses worth hundreds of pounds which the union argues effectively amounts to blacklisting.
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.