BA strike at Heathrow

adds to summer travel chaos

BA check in

Sky News, among others, reports that British Airways (BA) workers at Heathrow have voted to strike during the school summer holidays, potentially causing more travel chaos as the industry struggles to recover from the Covid pandemic.

GMB and Unite union members overwhelmingly supported the prospect of industrial action over pay with 95% of those voting, at both unions, backing strikes on turnouts of 81% and 63% respectively. It means that more than 700 BA check-in staff and ground-handling agents could walk out at the height of the summer season.

No strike dates have been announced, as the unions suggested that they wanted to give the airline some time to change its mind on the key issue. Workers, including check-in staff, will decide later on strike dates, which the unions said were likely to be held during the peak summer holiday period.

The unions are seeking to reverse a 10% pay cut on workers that was imposed during the pandemic when global lockdowns grounded flights. The airline has offered a 10% one-off bonus but not a return to the same pay as before.

BA joins action at other European airlines

BA plane landing at Funchal airport
BA plane aaring at Funchal airport

British Airways’ dispute with ground staff the latest wrinkle in what is already a difficult summer for both European airlines and travellers. Flight attendants, pilots, and certain other staff at Europe’s largest airline, Ryanair, plan to strike in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain for 24 hours on June 25. And easyJet has repeatedly been forced to cancel flights due to its own staffing issues. Lufthansa has cut schedules at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs, and its budget arm Eurowings cancelled flights in Germany through July due to airport staffing shortages in the country.

And on the airport side, images of thousands of unclaimed bags at Heathrow have circulated on social media, and the airport has asked airlines to temporarily reduce the number of flights they operate in order to mitigate delays. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has reduced the number of flights it is allowing through the end of August after multiple days of overcrowded terminals and cancelled flights. And Brussels Airport was closed on June 20 due to national strikes.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

BA strike at Heathrow 1

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4 thoughts on “BA strike at Heathrow”

  1. Apparently the 10% pay cut has been reinstated only to managers & senior staff, however not to the troops on the ground, check in staff & baggage handlers etc.. The CEO has just been awarded a pay rise to take him over £4 million..? (According to the BBC..?)

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