Unite hails another British Airways win

Holiday days taken from over 2,000 engineers in 2020 returned as autumn strike now averted

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Engineers at British Airways will have `stolen’ holiday days returned, their union has announced today (September 2).

The move is another victory in Unite’s campaign to return British Airways’ workers’ terms and conditions to their pre-pandemic level.

The 2,000 engineers were preparing to take strike action to return the three days of annual leave that had been taken from them by the airline but via talks, a resolution has been secured. Had it gone ahead, a strike would have caused massive disruption to the airline.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is another deserved victory for Unite at British Airways. Our members at BA are absolutely determined that the employer gives back what it took from the workforce. So far, we’ve restored wages, and today Unite is pleased to say that the holiday days taken from the engineers will be rightfully returned.

“The determination of our reps and members to stand firm and to take strike action if needs be certainly helped bring about this positive resolution.”

Joe McGowan, Unite Regional Officer responsible for the BA engineers added, “Back in 2020, BA took a sledgehammer to our members’ terms and conditions. Taking these holiday days from the engineers was unwarranted and Unite was always going to challenge this attack.

“The members and reps are delighted with the progress made but stay determined to do whatever it takes to win back the remaining items forced through by BA in 2020.”

While BA forced through wage reductions and other cuts to contractual entitlements – many of which have since been reversed by Unite – only the engineers lost holiday entitlement leaving them with fewer holidays than other workers at the company.

Managers at BA were not subject to any pay or holiday reductions as a result of Covid.

The engineering staff maintain and service BA’s entire fleet of 280 aircraft based at Heathrow, Gatwick, the maintenance and overhaul facility at Glasgow airport, and at line stations across the UK and Ireland.

By Ryan Fletcher

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