More BA strikes possible this summer

British Airways has announced its
revised schedule for the period of 5 to 9 June, but there may be more strikes
later this summer.

The industrial action has been
ongoing since talks between the Unite cabin crew and British Airways broke down
earlier this month. Initially centred around staffing levels and pay, the
latest round of discussions halted because British Airways had refused to
reinstate discounted tickets which had been withdrawn from staff that had
joined a previous strike in March.

British Airways are also
investigating 34 employees, they said, for various matters including misconduct
– for which eight crew have been dismissed subject to appeal.

Joint Unite leader, Tony Woodley,
indicated Monday that there could be more strikes ahead.

Speaking at the union’s annual
policy conference, Mr. Woodley said that a new ballot for possible further
industrial action could be only a week away. He told 700 delegates that a new
vote would be needed because a 12-week protective period for holding a strike
ends in early June.

“[BA chief Willie Walsh], we all
know there is a deal to be done, one that recognizes the real commercial needs
and problems of your company as well as our members’ legitimate interests.

“But we are not, and never will be,
prepared to see our members and our union humiliated, victimized and reduced to
ruins,” said Mr. Woodley.

“We are very disappointed that
Unite are continuing to take strike action up to 9 June,” said British Airways
public relations representative Marcia Erskine, who advised customers to check
the status of any booking with their travel agent or the airline website before
travelling to the airport.

Flight details

The UK carrier has announced
details of the final batch of flights affected by the strikes.

Flight BA0252 on Saturday, 5 June
has been cancelled between Grand Cayman and Nassau. The 21.40 connection
between Nassau and London Heathrow will be operating as normal.

Flight BA0252 between Grand Cayman
and Heathrow has been cancelled on Tuesday, 8 June and Wednesday, 9 June. On
Friday, 11 June BA0252 between Grand Cayman and London Heathrow is operating as
usual.

Passengers travelling from the
United Kingdom will also be affected.

Flight BA0253 between London
Heathrow and Grand Cayman on Saturday, 5 June, Tuesday, 8 June and Wednesday, 9
June have all been cancelled.

Normal service is scheduled for
Friday, 11 June when flight BA0253 will depart from London Heathrow at 10.50am,
connecting in Nassau at 4.25pm to arrive in Cayman around an hour later.

Upturn

The carrier told the Caymanian
Compass that there was a general upturn in the amount of flights that it was
able to fly during the latest set of stoppages, the third and final five-day
set of walkouts called by Unite.

“We have announced a larger
schedule at Heathrow for this round of strikes, because of the numbers of crew
reporting for work and we will look to add to this schedule where we can.

“We continue to operate 100 per
cent of our schedule at Gatwick and London City airports. At Heathrow, we are
operating more than 70 per cent of long haul flights, up from more than 60 per
cent last week, and more than 55 per cent of short haul flights  [which is] up from more than 50 per cent last
week. [We] will do all we can to fly as many customers as possible.

“We remain available for talks,”
added Marcia Erskine, spokesman for the airline.

Ongoing

Discussions between British Airways
and the union continued on Tuesday, 1 June, arbitrated by the Advisory,
Conciliation and Arbitration Service, an independent organisation devoted to
preventing and resolving employment disputes.

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