British Airways cabin crew are to ballot on a new round of strikes scheduled from early January after union leaders rejected the airline’s latest offer to settle their protracted dispute.
Union Unite will issue ballot papers shortly, but there will be no strike over Christmas and New Year.
The union is demanding an end to what it describes as the victimisation of cabin crew. It wants binding arbitration of all cabin crew disciplinary cases and full restoration of staff travel concessions.
Unite also wants a restoration of wages docked from crew who were sick during strikes days earlier this year.
Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley said: “BA’s continued hounding of our members leaves us no option but to conduct a new ballot. Our door is open to negotiations, but BA must understand the depth of feeling among our members.”
BA cabin crew staged 22 days of strikes in March, May and June this year. The airline has pledged to operate a full long-haul service from Heathrow during any future strike alongside a full service from Gatwick.
In a statement, BA said: “Tony Woodley shook hands with us on an agreement in October and said he would let cabin crew vote on the deal. Unite has broken this promise and instead has now chosen to create fresh uncertainty for customers.
“Should any industrial action take place, we are confident our well-established contingency plans will allow us to operate normal timetables at Gatwick and London City airports. At Heathrow, we will aim to run a substantial proportion of our short-haul programme and 100 per cent of our long haul operation.”
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