British Airways strike ahead of world cup
According to Unite, a union which represents around 90% of BA’s 12 000 cabin crew, said the strike is necessary and a result of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. Another reason behind the strike is that the unhappiness about BA’s decision to take disciplinary action over 50 union members, while firing an official who represented cabin crew.
BA warned that the number of strikers would cause “extensive disruption for potentially hundreds of thousands of customers over a busy period” and may also affect travelers who are heading to South Africa for the 2010 world cup. The event starts on 11 June 2010. The strike dates so far are May 18-22, May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9 – leaving just a day’s breather in between each five-day walkout. In addition to disrupt people’s travel plans, the strike action will add to the escalating costs experienced by the airline in the wake of the Icelandic volcano disruption and walkouts by BA staff last month.
The travel industry is not happy with the developments.
“Regardless of the reasons behind these strikes, the people who are going to suffer the most are BA’s customers,” said Bob Atkinson, of travel website travelsupermarket.com, in an interview with Associated Press.
“Thousands of families will have booked their trips well in advance and will have little flexibility, minimal realistic alternatives and will be left disappointed.” Unite replied: “Cabin crew are left with no choice but to take further strike action. There can be no industrial peace without meaningful negotiations and while management victimises trade unionists and uses disciplinary procedures in a witch-hunt.”
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