BA cabin crew to strike over Christmas, New Year

British Airways cabin crew have voted in favour of strike action in protest over pay and are set to walk out for 12 days over the busy Christmas and New Year holiday season, union bosses said on Monday.

“After long discussions … we are planning to withdraw our labour for a period of 12 days starting 22nd December,” Britain’s biggest trade union Unite said in a statement after staff voted 9-1 in favour of striking.

The announcement is a major blow for the loss-making airline and also thousands of BA passengers that are planning to fly worldwide with the British airline over the festive period.

“We do not take the decision to strike lightly, especially during the financial strife that the company finds itself in,” Unite said in its statement.

A total of 10 288 cabin crew voted with 92,49% in favour of strike action.

Ahead of the vote result, BA chief executive Willie Walsh admitted he was preparing himself for “bad news”.

Writing in the Daily Mail newspaper, he said: “This is a critical day for the future of British Airways, adding: “We face … misery and uncertainty inflicted on hundreds of thousands of families.”

Also on Monday, BA revealed that its pension deficit had ballooned to £3,7-billion, a 76% increase compared to the level in 2006, causing the airline to seek a “recovery plan”.

The huge shortfall meanwhile risks scuppering BA’s proposed merger with Spanish airline Iberia, which has the right to walk away from a recently announced planned tie-up should BA fail to resolve the problem. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday