Unite is balloting its members employed as check-in staff by British Airways at Heathrow airport for industrial action in a dispute over pay.
The workers who are employed in the company’s ‘A scales division’, are angry that the company has restored management pay to pre-pandemic levels but refused to reverse a 10 per cent pay cut which was imposed on them during the pandemic.
The industrial action ballot, which covers around 500 staff, will open on Tuesday, June 7 and close on Monday, June 27. Should workers vote in favour of industrial action, strikes are expected to occur in July when demands for flights are expected to be high.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “British Airways used the cover of Covid to brutally cut members’ pay. BA has now reversed the pay cuts imposed on management but refuses to do this for our members. This is disgraceful. Unite will not allow our members to be treated as a second-class workforce.
“Our members are rightly furious and ready to take action. A strike by our members will make an immediate impact on the service to customers so I urge BA to get a grip and restore these workers’ pay immediately.
“Unite will be giving its members the union’s complete support until this dispute is resolved.”
Additionally, Unite is undertaking a consultative ballot of a separate group of BA’s check in staff (described as HS2012) over pay. If the workers back stoppages in the consultative ballot, then Unite will also move to a full industrial action ballot for these workers.
Unite regional officer Russ Ball added, “British Airways has had every opportunity to resolve this dispute through negotiations but has decided not to do so. Our members are therefore balloting for industrial action as a last resort.
“Strike action and the accompanying disruption can be avoided by BA returning to negotiations and restoring our members’ pay rates to pre-pandemic levels.”
The GMB union is also in the process of balloting its members employed in A scales for industrial action.
By Ryan Fletcher