British Airways (BA) is expected to report an unprecedented loss of £100 million in the three months to June when it releases first-quarter results on July 31.
It would be first time in BA‘s history it has recorded a loss for the period April to June and exacerbates the carrier’s problems following a breakdown in talks with unions representing cabin crew last week.
However, both sides, in what could prove a damaging dispute, have played down media reports of a growing strike threat in the peak holiday season.
Union Unite and BA registered a “failure to agree” following two weeks of talks at conciliation service Acas – the latest attempt to reach agreement on BA cost-cutting demands affecting cabin crew. The two sides have agreed to a 14-day cooling off period, during which there will be further senior-level discussions.
The cooling off will extend into early August. Thereafter, any official industrial action would require the union to conduct a postal ballot and give BA formal notice of a strike – making any action unlikely until September.
Unite has agreed to a pay cut for cabin crew and a two-year wage freeze elsewhere, as well as to a substantial reduction in head count. But management and the union remain at loggerheads over BA’s insistence on other measures, including cuts in wages and changed conditions for new starters. Neither side would comment on the progress of talks.
BA has suffered strikes and threats of action repeatedly over recent summers, with walk outs by cabin crew, check-in staff and baggage handlers in the past few years.
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