British Airways cabin crew to stage two-week strike

BA suffered a disruption at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports when a power surge knocked out its IT system. — Reuters

"Unite believes the divisive way British Airways has targeted striking members of cabin crew is unlawful and amounts to blacklisting".

Since the start of this year, BA has suffered from 26 days of strike action, forcing it to cancel flights and charter aircraft from other airlines such as Titan Airways, Vueling and Thomson Airways to cover striking crew.

According to the Telegraph, the union also announced it will pursue legal action against British Airways for allegedly blacklisting more than 1,400 cabin crew members who took previous strike action.

A four-day strike scheduled to start on Friday was suspended to allow fresh talks with BA bosses.

The union says that BA failed to send "key decision makers" to the Acas talks, leading Unite to write to the carrier with "a final compromise positon for acceptance by noon today".

Commenting Unite assistant general secretary, Howard Beckett, said: "The refusal by British Airways bosses to meaningfully consider our compromise offer is deeply disappointing".

"A resolution to this long-running dispute was within the grasp of BA, but instead of grabbing that opportunity, bosses rebuffed it". Unite has already confirmed it is pursuing the non-pay issues in this dispute through the courts.

The breakdown at British Airways came as another blow to the aviation industry, which has been plagued by passenger outrage over a number of incidents since a passenger was dragged from a plane at United Airlines.

British Airways reassured passengers that it would continue to fly all customers to their destinations.

The 1,400 Unite members are walking out in a long-running dispute over pay and travel concessions.

The airline said: "We had reached a deal on pay, which Unite agreed was acceptable".

The union adds that since 2010, all new BA cabin crew employees have joined what is called "mixed fleet" where it says that "promises that pay would be 10% above the market rate" have not materialised, with basic pay set at £12,192 ($15,585), with £3 ($7.66) an hour flying pay.

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