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British Airways increasingly likely to face strike action -union

Fri, 21st Aug 2020 09:33

LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - British Airways is increasingly
likely to face strike action this autumn, as the trade union
representing cabin crew said that new contracts offered to the
airline's remaining staff did not offer enough stability and
could cut pay substantially.

Unite, the trade union, first threatened BA with strike
action in July. After a union meeting on Thursday, a spokesman
said that he would instruct lawyers to proceed to industrial
action.

But any strike action, which would need to be approved by a
vote, is likely to be some weeks away given that Unite has yet
to formally start the process.

BA on Friday said that it had "received no notification of
any ballot for industrial action", the first step in a
weeks-long process which precedes any strike.

British Airways, owned by IAG, says it is battling
to survive after the pandemic wiped out international travel. It
has been burning through 20 million pounds a day and has said it
needs to axe up to 12,000 jobs.

While flying restarted in Europe in June, new restrictions
continue to be imposed. On Thursday, Britain brought in
quarantine rules for Austria and Croatia, creating a new problem
for travel demand in markets served by BA.

Unite says that the cuts BA is trying to make go too far. It
argues that staff who keep their jobs at the airline face
contracts which provide no stability or security, and involve
pay cuts of up to 43%.

"Enough is enough. We will now instruct our legal
specialists to proceed to industrial and legal action, which
will hit BA in the autumn," Unite said in a statement.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Michael Holden)

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