BARRING a last-minute breakthrough, about 2,500 cabin crew members employed by British Airways (BA) will strike this week over alleged “poverty pay” at the airline. Workers originally planned walkouts for the Christmas period, but suspended the action to consider a revised pay offer. Having rejected that offer by a 7-1 margin, the strikes will now occur on 10th and 11th January. BA says the impact will be minimal, with 85% of cabin crew reporting for duty and just 12 return flights being cancelled each day. Passengers due to travel on those affected flights, which all leave from London Heathrow Airport, will be rebooked onto alternative services. Still, the slightest whiff of disruption will prompt howls of discontent in a week in which strikes on both London Underground and some national rail services into the capital are adding to the misery.

This is not the first time BA cabin crew have called industrial action. In 2010, a series of strikes caused 22 days of travel chaos. Then, cabin crew were angry about staffing cutbacks and the introduction of new contracts, dubbed “mixed-fleet” contracts, which offered inferior terms for new...Continue reading