More misery could come to vacationers than British Airways Pilots are preparing for a strike over wage disputes.
The Balpa union is threatening strikes after airline bosses rejected calls for a new collective bargaining agreement as they insist their members deserve a pay rise.
So what exactly did Balpa say when is the strike action planned and how did BA react to it?
Here’s everything you need to know.
When do the strikes take place?
Under mounting pressure from members, the union is preparing for industrial action that could take place in the summer.
British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle was warned during a meeting with pilot representatives last week that “only quantifiable action would be acceptable”, according to The Telegraph.
However, an email said: “That didn’t happen”.
An official strike date has not yet been announced, but we will update this article with more information as we receive it.
Why is a strike planned?
BA’s pilots are now wanting a pay rise, two years after agreeing to a pay cut to mitigate job losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In July 2020 they accepted a temporary 20% cut, which declined to 8% over the following two years, meaning the number of job losses could be reduced from 1,255 to 270.
Pilots are demanding wage increases instead of wage cuts.
A British Airways pilot typically earns around £75,000 a year, but most receive additional flight allowances, while a captain can earn a much higher wage.
Pay is just one aspect up for discussion, but rosters and meal allowances also need to be negotiated.
Ground-handling crews halted planned strike action last week after accepting an 8 percent pay rise.
Meanwhile, employees of petrol station companies from other competing airlines have been offered a 10% wage increase.
What did the union say?
Referring to the pay rise offered to competing airlines, a union source said: “They did it by stamping their feet and voting on strike action.
“’BA seems to ignore you until you issue a ballot,’ is the sentiment among members. Within Balpa we don’t usually like to do that.
“We’d rather take a grown-up approach. But we are under enormous pressure. And the longer this goes on, the more difficult it becomes.”
What did British Airways say?
BA said it would continue to hold talks with unions but added any strike would likely cause widespread disruption to passengers.
What happens next?
Talks between British Airways and Balpa are ongoing.
Balpa recently wrote to airline bosses that the salary sacrifice program must be abandoned.
Martin Chalk, General Secretary of Balpa, said: “We are in discussions with British Airways and would like to convince them that continued deductions from our members’ salaries are not justified.
“Actually, given the inflation scenario, we should be talking about wage increases.
“If BA is not willing to walk this journey with us, we need to consult with members to consider our next actions.”