Posts Tagged ‘Strike


Pilots strike at Spirit Airlines, flights canceled

Pilots strike at Spirit Airlines, flights canceled

Saturday, June 12, 2010

NEWS••• The privately held Spirit Airlines Inc. canceled all flights Saturday when its pilots went on strike as mediated contract talks failed to reach an agreement.

The strike at the Florida-based discount airline is the first strike at a U.S. passenger carrier in nearly five years, and the company said it would give affected customers a credit for the full amount of the flight plus 100 dollars of flight credit. The carrier offers flights in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The company’s 430 pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). Talks between the union and the company revolve mainly around pay, benefits and scheduling, but differences could not be bridged.
Although Spirit carries less than 1 percent of U.S. air-passenger traffic, about 6.1 million passengers last year, the strike could have implications throughout the airline industry. Airline unions across the country are watching the dispute closely as many are in contract negotiations or getting ready to begin talks.

The U.S. airline industry is better off now than in the past several years of restructuring, and unions are eager to regain pay and benefits lost during that period. Reports indicated low labor costs had helped Spirit to maintain profitability.
» Check your flight information here: Spirit Airlines
• Source(s): Spirit Airlines, Inc.
• Latest News & Headlines » Home «


British Airways cabin crew begin third walkout

British Airways cabin crew begin third walkout

Saturday, June 5, 2010


••• Strike pay has been increased for British Airways cabin crew as they launch their latest wave of five-day walkouts in their bitter row with the airline.

Unite said on Saturday it will pay its members $65 a day, up from $43.36 in previous strikes, and is considering offering interest-free loans of $1.445 for hardship cases.

BA said more crew than expected turned up for work on Saturday at Heathrow airport, meaning it could operate additional flights.

The cabin crew on Saturday staged their 18th day of action since March and will stay out until next Wednesday, raising the cost of the industrial action to BA to well over $216.77 million.

The union is threatening to ballot its members again if the deadlocked row is not resolved, which could disrupt flights throughout the busy summer months.

The impact of the dispute was revealed this week when the airline announced a 14.2 percent dip in passenger numbers last month.

A BA spokesman said on Saturday: ‘Our global operations went very well last week and we have got off to another good start today at the beginning of this strike period.

‘The numbers of crew reporting for work at Heathrow on Saturday has been higher than we expected and as a result we have been able to operate additional flights to Los Angeles, Washington, Mexico City and Phoenix.

‘These flights are in addition to the larger schedule previously announced at Heathrow for this period of strike action.
‘We will continue to operate 100 percent of our schedule at Gatwick and London City airports and our cabin crew at Gatwick continue to ignore Unite’s strike calls and work as normal.’

BA is aiming to operate around 80 percent of long-haul flights from Heathrow over the next five days, up from 70 percent and 60 percent in the past two strike periods, and 60 percent of short-haul flights, up from 55 percent and 50 percent.

Talks between Unite’s joint leader Tony Woodley and BA’s chief executive Willie Walsh under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas ended without agreement last week, with little sign of any progress.

An agreement in principle has been struck over cost-cutting, the original cause of the dispute, but the removal of travel concessions from strikers is now blocking a deal.

Unite has urged BA to fully restore the travel concessions, arguing it would not cost the airline any money.

The union said it believes the next series of strikes will be strongly supported by cabin crew and will have a ‘huge impact’ on flights.

Singer Billy Bragg performed an impromptu gig for the strikers at a football ground near Heathrow on Saturday.

An Acas spokesman said: ‘Acas and the TUC have continued to maintain contact with both BA and Unite since talks were adjourned.

‘It is expected that a date will be agreed shortly for talks to resume.’
» Check your flight information here: British Airways
• Latest News & Headlines » Home «
• Source(s): British Airways PLC


British Airways strike to go ahead despite last-gasp peace offer

British Airways strike to go ahead despite last-gasp peace offer

Sunday, May 23, 2010


••• British Airways cabin crew will go ahead with a wave of strikes from tomorrow after hopes of a last-minute deal collapsed.

The British Airways cabin crew strike set to start at midnight will be suspended if Willie Walsh reinstates staff travel perks, Unite joint leader Tony Woodley has said.

In a last-minute appeal to the BA chief executive outside the union’s HQ in London, Mr. Woodley said he was ‘making a goodwill gesture to the public’.

He added: ‘As a sign of good faith, I’m making this offer now to Willie Walsh.

‘Turn round and reinstate our people’s travel without the unnecessary, vindictive removal of their service and this union will call off tonight’s strike and suspend the action.’

Earlier, it was announced the first of three five-day walkouts will go ahead after a ‘catastrophic’ breakdown in negotiations.

It was thought Mr. Woodley had told union officials there was no chance of resuming talks after the previous meeting was dramatically halted by a Socialist Workers Party protest.

Union sources claimed Mr. Walsh withdrew from further talks this morning – but the airline has said it is ‘willing, available and able’ to return to the negotiating table.

However, now Mr. Woodley has said a deal is ‘very close’ and ‘an agreement in principle on the business issues’ had been reached.

In a sideswipe at the protesters, Mr. Woodley said ‘fantastic progress’ had been made before the meeting was ‘rudely interrupted by our friends from the SWP’.

Only this morning, the BA boss had said there was still ‘an opportunity’ to avoid a strike – but warned contingency plans are in place.
‘British Airways will be flying tomorrow. We will not be grounded by the actions of a tiny minority who are clearly out of touch with reality,’ he told BBC 1’s Andrew Marr Show.

‘If the strike goes ahead at midnight we are ready.’

Speaking outside Heathrow Airport, Sky News’ Simon Newton said: ‘BA says it plans to operate 60% of long-haul and 50% of short-haul flights out of Heathrow.

‘The advice for passengers is to check with the British Airways website.’

There was a further twist when BA accused Unite’s other joint leader, Derek Simpson, of giving a ‘running commentary’ of the discussions via Twitter.

Mr. Walsh told Marr he had been ‘shocked and angry’ to learn of the tweets, adding: ‘That really does undermine the discussions that took place.
‘If it wasn’t for Derek’s actions and clearly then the mob storming the building, we may have been able to make significant progress.’

The messages which appeared on Twitter were posted under the name derekamicus next to a picture of Mr. Simpson.

One read: ‘Willie and Tony locking horns over accusations of unequal treatment of allegations of bullying.’

It was followed by another which read: ‘Arguments over the 8 sacked workers,’ and then: ‘Fear of more sackings to come.’

But Mr. Woodley said: ‘Never mind travelling the airwaves on Twitter, let’s deal with the issues that matter to the British travelling public.’
» Check your flight information here: British Airways
• Source(s): Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp. and British Airways PLC



British Airways posts another record annual loss

British Airways posts another record annual loss

Friday, May 21, 2010

British Airways has posted a record annual net loss of $754 million, due to the recession, a tough winter and strikes by cabin crews in March.

Friday’s earnings update from the carrier – which is currently facing 15 more days of walkouts in a bitter dispute with cabin crews over changes to pay and working conditions – is slightly better than had been feared.

The loss for the year ending March 31 compares with a loss of $517.883 million in the previous year. Revenue dropped 11 percent to $11.558 billion.

British Airways (BA) says it is making progress on a cost savings program that has included cutting jobs. It has warned the Unite union that the disputed changes are necessary for the airline to survive in a post-financial crisis world.

The airline said revenues had plunged by $1.447 billion, although this was offset by falling fuel costs as well as savings elsewhere in the business.

Chief executive Willie Walsh also fired a broadside at unions after Unite on Thursday won its appeal against the latest strikes being ruled out on a technicality.

‘Returning the business to profitability requires permanent change across the company and it’s disappointing that our cabin crew union fails to recognise that,’ he warned.

He added that the current financial year ‘could hardly have had a worse start’ due to the disruption caused by Iceland’s volcanic eruption, which closed most of European airspace for almost a week in April.

Following the court decision, 15 days of strikes are due to kick off on Monday.

But the group said market conditions were showing improvement and BA is expecting to break even this year following its heavy losses.
• Source(s): British Airways PLC and Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp.


British Airways Strike Injunction Overturned

British Airways Strike Injunction Overturned

Thursday, May 20, 2010


••• British Airways cabin crew will go on strike for five days from Tuesday after the Unite union won an appeal against a High Court injunction blocking the action.

A series of five-day walkouts had been due to start this week but last Tuesday the High Court ruled in favour of British Airways as the airline made a last-ditch bid to stop the walkouts, Sky News reported today.

Overnight, two out of three judges sitting at the Court of Appeal in London accepted the union’s challenge to the High Court ruling.

After the decision, Unite announced a five-day strike from Tuesday next week.

British Airways said it was “disappointed for its customers” that Unite’s appeal had been upheld and described the strikes as “unjustified and pointless.”

It said, “We are confident that thousands of cabin crew will ignore Unite’s strike call and help us fly more than 70 percent of the customers who were booked to fly with us in the period targeted.”

The union originally announced four five-day stoppages from May 18-22 inclusive, then from May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9, the last strike ending just two days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa.

Joint Unite leader Tony Woodley repeated his claim the original dispute between British Airways and its cabin crew had been agreed in principle.

He said British Airways now had an “ideal opportunity” to settle the dispute despite the legal wrangle.

Mr. Woodley accused the airline of being “incredibly petty and vindictive” by refusing to fully restore travel concessions to staff who went on strike in March and over disciplinary action taken against more than 50 union members.
» Check your flight information here: British Airways
• Source(s): Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp. and British Airways PLC


British Airways in court attempt to block strike

British Airways in court attempt to block strike
Unite spokesman Steve Turner calls a High Court injunction against a planned strike by British Airways cabin crew an ‘affront to democracy’.

Monday, May 17, 2010


••• British Airways has blocked a series of four five-day strikes by cabin crew after the High Court in London granted an injunction just hours before they were due to start.

The airline, facing mounting chaos because of the industrial dispute coupled with the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, succeeded in its legal action after successfully claiming the cabin crew union’s strike ballot failed to follow rules.

Members of the Unite union had been due to walk out from Tuesday to May 22, with further strikes planned on May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9.

The airline argued Unite had not properly complied with the requirement to send everyone eligible to vote details of the exact breakdown of the ballot result and therefore the strike action was unlawful.

The judge, Richard McCombe, expressed sympathy for the union and its members, but said: I am unable to say it is sufficiently clear that the union took the steps required by law at the time they were required.

Unite, which is locked in an increasingly bitter battle with BA over staffing and pay, strongly criticised the ruling and vowed to appeal.

This judgment is an absolute disgrace and will rank as a landmark attack on free trade unionism and the right to take industrial action, said the union’s leaders, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson.
British Airway said: We are delighted for our customers that Unite’s plans for extreme and unjustified strike action cannot go ahead.

The airline said it had already been forced to rearrange much of its schedule to accommodate the planned strike, but promised to restore a full flying program at its London Heathrow base by the weekend.

British Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, who held separate talks with both sides earlier on Monday, said the judgment was good news for passengers.

I want (both sides) to use this breathing space to resolve this dispute, both to avoid disruption to passengers and to safeguard the future of the airline, he said.

British Airway chief executive Willie Walsh spent three hours in talks on Monday with the Unite leaders and adjourned shortly after the court decision.

There will be further talks but events have been overtaken by the court’s decision, said Walsh.

A British Airway spokesman said: “We are delighted for our customers that Unite’s plans for extreme and unjustified strike action cannot go ahead. We are sorry the court judgment cannot undo the disruption already suffered by some customers who were due to travel during the early days of the union’s industrial action.

“As Unite knew, we had to announce last Thursday the rearrangement of our Heathrow schedule to give customers as much notice as possible about changes to their travel plans necessitated by the strike call. Ash disruption permitting, we will aim to restore a full flying programme at Heathrow by the weekend. We will also offer a full programme at Gatwick and London City, as planned.”

Unite’s national officer Steve Turner said: “It’s an affront to democracy and our members and we will be fighting back tomorrow.”

It is the second time in the long-running dispute that BA has succeeded in halting a cabin crew strike through legal action.

The airline won a High Court battle in December to stop a 12-day walkout over the busy Christmas and New Year holidays, when a judge granted an injunction.

British Airway also argued on this occasion that Unite’s ballot of staff was invalid.

The airline’s cabin crew staged walkouts in March, which were marked by sharp disagreements between the union and British Airway over the impact of the industrial action.
» Check your flight information here: British Airways
• Source(s): Independent Television News (ITN) and British Airways PLC


No-fly zone lifted from North West airports

No-fly zone lifted from North West airports

Monday, May 17, 2010


••• Planes will be allowed to fly through volcanic ash under new measures announced today by the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority.

The announcement of a new Time Limited Zone (TLZ) was made after all UK airspace was reopened yesterday evening.

The CAA said the TLZ – introduced from midday today (local time) – would allow flights for a limited time at higher ash densities than are currently allowed.

To operate in the new zone, airlines need to present the CAA with a safety case that includes the agreement of their aircraft and engine manufacturers.

The CAA said this meant that in future some areas of UK airspace that would have previously had to close would be able to remain open.

CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: “I’m pleased that the huge efforts we’re all making across aviation to keep flying safe while minimising the disruption from the volcano have resulted in further progress.”

The measures follow heavy criticism of the no-fly zones from airline industry chiefs.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh said blanket bans on flying were “a gross over-reaction to a very minor risk”.

And Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson described the situation as “beyond a joke”.

The announcement came after the U.K.’s National Air Traffic Service confirmed that British airspace was to reopen from 02:00 pm EDT time on Monday until 08:00 pm EDT.

A no-fly zone would remain over parts of the North Sea, affecting some helicopter flights.

The majority of U.K. airports reopened today with only a few – including some in the Shetland Isles – still closed.

Heathrow and Gatwick were among the airports that had closed late on Sunday (local time) when the volcanic ash cloud moved south.
• Source(s): Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp.


Volcanic ash risk and British Airways strikes threaten more air misery

Volcanic ash risk and British Airways strikes threaten more air misery
Sunday, May 16, 2010

NEWS••• Travel chaos is set to return to Britain with fresh threats from an Icelandic volcano and of British Airways cabin crew strikes.

British aviation authorities on Sunday reintroduced a no-fly zone over parts of Northern Ireland as the volcanic ash cloud returned to the skies over the U.K..

They also warned some of the U.K.’s busiest airports, including London’s Heathrow, could close in coming days if the ash cloud drifts southwards as forecast.

The return of the ash cloud, which caused the mass closure of British and European airports in April, comes ahead of a planned five-day strike by British Airways cabin crew on Tuesday in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

British Airways will seek an injunction in the High Court in London on Monday in an attempt to stop the strike, which threatens the travel plans of thousands of the airline’s customers around the world.

If the strike goes ahead, it is likely to compound problems caused by the return of the ash cloud.

In Northern Ireland on Sunday, Belfast International and Belfast City airports as well as Ronaldsway airport on the Isle of Man all had flights cancelled until at least 01:00 pm BST (08:00 am EDT).

Britain’s Transport Department warned there could be further disruption across the country until the middle of the week thanks to ash blowing across from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjoell.

The ash cloud is expected to reach London by Tuesday, threatening the cancellation of flights at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports.

Forecasters believe the ash cloud will begin to drift away from the U.K. on Wednesday when the wind direction is expected to change.

Air passengers travelling to and from Britain in coming days are being warned to check with their airlines before heading to airports to find out if their flights have been cancelled.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the government was carefully monitoring the situation and that passenger safety was its main concern.

‘We have taken the decision to publish five-day forecasts as we want airlines, other transport providers and the public to have the best possible information,’ he said.

‘However, the situation remains fluid and these forecasts are always liable to change.

‘NATS – the U.K.’s air traffic services provider – will advise of any airspace closures as and when they become necessary and I urge passengers to check with their airlines before taking any action.’

Meanwhile, Mr Hammond is preparing to intervene in the dispute between BA and its cabin crew in an attempt to avert up to 20 days of planned strikes in the next four weeks.

Mr. Hammond is to hold emergency talks with both sides on Monday.

British Airways insists that 70 percent of flights, will still operate if cabin crew walk off the job.
» Cabin crew will walk out from May 18 to 22, May 24 to 28, May 30 to June 3 and June 5 to 9, which will cover the school half-term holidays and a bank holiday.
» Important information – British Airways Industrial Action, travel to / from Thailand and Volcanic Flight Disruptions
» Check your flight information here: British Airways

• Source(s): U.K. Press & British Airways



British Airways plans fresh strikes

British Airways plans fresh strikes

Monday, May 10, 2010

NEWS Unite said its members at the airline would take 20 days of action following their rejection of the company’s latest offer aimed at ending the long-running dispute.

Cabin crew will walk out from May 18 to 22, May 24 to 28, May 30 to June 3 and June 5 to 9, which will cover the school half-term holidays and a bank holiday.

Unite ordered four five-day strikes from May 18 to June 9 which will affect fans flying to the World Cup in South Africa.

Leaders of British Airways cabin crew will on Monday consider calling fresh strikes after the rejection of a deal aimed at ending their long-running dispute.

Members of Unite voted by 81 percent in a 71 percent turnout not to accept a proposal from the airline which would have ended a bitter, year-long row.

Union activists will press their leaders to call a lengthy strike following a series of stoppages in March which caused travel chaos for passengers and cost BA tens of millions of pounds.

British Airways accused Unite of ‘orchestrating’ rejection of a ‘very fair’ offer it said addressed all the concerns raised during 14 months of talks.

Representatives of the cabin crew will meet Unite’s joint general secretaries, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, to discuss their next move.

The two union leaders said: ‘British Airways management should take note of their own employees’ strong rejection of their offer and immediately address the outstanding concerns.

‘They should make no mistake that Unite is fully committed to supporting our members in furthering this dispute if no resolution is found.’

British Airways said in a statement: ‘British Airways is disappointed but not surprised that Unite has clearly orchestrated a rejection of a very fair offer that addresses all the concerns raised during 14 months of talks.

‘We urge Unite to put an end to this unnecessary dispute and focus on the best interests of its members. There can be nothing positive to be gained from further strikes.

‘The majority of our crew came to work during the previous strikes and demonstrated their firm commitment to our customers, despite their union’s callous disregard for the traveling public.

‘Unlike other businesses and airlines, we have avoided compulsory redundancies. Cabin crew face no pay cut or reduction in terms and conditions, and remain the best rewarded in the U.K. airline industry.

‘It is not too late for Unite to put an end to this dispute and support our recovery from two consecutive years of record losses and return to sustained profitability and job security for its members.’

More than 7,000 union members took part in the latest ballot, with over 5,600 rejecting the deal and 1,375 voting in favour.

Union officials said the ballot result showed the continued ‘strength and courage’ of the cabin crew, despite claims of threats, bullying, sanctions and loss of earnings.

Cabin crew representatives said they had not ‘dissected’ the proposed deal because it had not been recommended, but officials said there was a ‘complete lack’ of any detail.

The original dispute was over pay, jobs and conditions, including staffing cuts on flights, but the latest offer was rejected because British Airways has not fully restored travel concessions taken away from crew who went on strike, and because over 50 union members have been suspended.

Five people who went on strike have now been sacked, including the branch secretary of the cabin crew’s union section, the British Airways Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA).

‘Your union is looking for a reasonable compromise to allow the threat of any industrial action to be lifted and ensure that all of us can move on and put this behind us.

‘Subsequent recriminatory actions and public statements of intent have now made this increasingly difficult and unlikely.

‘An insistence that people who participated in lawful and legal industrial action are punished is simply not helpful in finding a solution to what are already difficult issues,’ said a message from BASSA.

‘There is still time to avoid unnecessary disruption and anxiety to both cabin crew, fellow colleagues and of course, our customers.

‘We sincerely hope that this opportunity is not squandered but by now we think we all know that it will be. This is a company that is now not prepared to settle for anything less, and are now literally hell bent on the total destruction of your union to pave the way for its low-cost vision of the future.’



British Airways: A few strikes don’t make a spring of discontent

British Airways: A few strikes don’t make a spring of discontent

Monday, March 29, 2010


British Airways cabin crew have launched a four-day strike, forcing the cancellation of numerous flights as they stage their second walkout in a week over an increasingly bitter dispute.

BA said about 70 % of its long-haul flights and up to 55 % of its short-haul flights were operating on Saturday during the strike by the Unite union, even more than during last weekend’s three-day action.

The airline has said more than three-quarters of its passengers – over 180,000 out of 240,000 – will still be able to travel, and chief executive Willie Walsh said it’s doing “everything possible” to make this happen.

In a YouTube message issued late on Saturday, he added: “We’re absolutely committed to resolving this dispute with the trade union and returning British Airways to normal operations as soon as possible.”

Walsh has warned the airline could fold in a decade unless the changes to working practices he wants are carried out, but Unite says his “slash and burn” approach would lead to a two-tier workforce and a reduced service.

Negotiations between Unite, which represents BA’s 12,000 cabin crew, and the airline broke down on the eve of the first strikes.

A BA spokeswoman said on Saturday that London Gatwick and London City airports were operating as normal and enough staff had turned up to the airline’s main hub at London Heathrow to crew the revised timetable.

She dismissed as “rubbish” Unite’s claims that passengers on six fully loaded flights had to disembark due to a lack of crew, and that flights were leaving with reduced crew and well under capacity.

Walsh visited Heathrow airport’s Terminal 5 to talk to passengers who had their travel plans disrupted, and said he found customers “very positive”.

“At the same time I am deeply sorry for those customers who have had their holidays and their plans disrupted,” he said in his video message.

Outside Heathrow, striking cabin crew set up picket lines and were joined by staff from Iberia, the Spanish airline which is in talks to merge with BA.

The union has claimed the cost to the airline of the strike action will be $149.722 million.

By contrast, BA has said last week’s walkout cost $10.479 million a day and that an assessment of the cost of the full seven-day action could only be made after it was finished.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, Walsh said changes to working conditions are vital to the company’s survival.

“We are trying to transform the way we operate because the industry is changing and the economic conditions have changed so radically that we’ve got to change,” he said.

“We’re doing this to make sure BA still exists in 10 years. If we don’t do this, BA won’t exist in 10 years.”

BA said last month it expected to notch up a record loss in the current financial year due to weak demand for air travel.

Walsh also denied accusations that he was trying to break the union, after the claim was made in a letter from 116 industrial relations experts from universities across Britain, published in The Guardian on Friday.

“It is clear to us that the actions of the chief executive of British Airways… are explicable only by the desire to break the union which represents the cabin crew,” the academics’ letter read.

The union has also complained of intimidation, and one cabin crew member who asked not to be named said: “I’ve been with the company for 21 years and they’ve never imposed on us. They’ve always sought an agreement, until now that is. Now there is an atmosphere of fear which I’d never seen before.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has condemned the strike but, just weeks before a general election, faces accusations of a weak response from the main opposition Conservatives because Unite is a major donor to his Labour Party.

Cabin crew strike
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on and after 30 March 2010.
For more information: All The Latest Advice For British Airways Passengers GO
• Source(s): U.K. Press & British Airways


Workers Continue Strike But British Airways Still Flying

Workers Continue Strike But British Airways Still Flying

Saturday, March 27, 2010


••• British Airways says 66% of all their cabin crew staff went work despite the four-day walkout being staged by Unite members.

Air passengers have had to cope with more travel disruption this weekend as cabin crew take to picket lines once again.

But the airline says 96% of staff turned up to work at Gatwick.

There was a turnout of 61% for Heathrow longhaul flights and 56% for the airport’s shorthaul ones.

The strike follows a dispute between the Unite union and BA bosses over jobs and cost cutting.

This is the second round of action from cabin crew this month.

Those staff that have been on the picket lines today have complained of an ‘atmosphere of fear’ and having to ‘constantly look over their shoulder’.

Hundreds of hundreds of staff congregated at a football ground underneath one of Heathrow’s flight paths in Bedfont.

One cabin crew member said: ‘I’m constantly looking over my shoulder in case I fill in the wrong form, tick the wrong box, say the wrong thing.

‘Whereas before you would just be called in, now they are going straight to suspending people.’

Unite’s assistant general secretary Len McCluskey condemned the treatment of striking British Airways workers as a ‘disgrace’.

Speaking in Bedfont he urged them to stand up against ‘the aggressive bullies’ that manage the airline.

‘It’s become evident for a while that instead of seeking to resolve your concerns, they are trying to crush your right to have a collective unit and you’re not going to let them do that.

The crowds cheered as he continued: ‘You are not mindless militants, you are decent men and women trying to protect your future and the company that you love.’

BA said that 18% of its customers had been re-booked to travel on different airlines, or had changed the dates of their flights to avoid the strike period.

Unite warned that the seven-day dispute will cost the airline around 100m, but BA has estimated it will cost about half that.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said: ‘The vast majority of BA staff, including thousands of cabin crew, are pulling together to serve our customers and keep our flag flying.

‘At the same time, I feel really sorry for those customers whose plans have been ruined by the Unite union’s completely unjustified action.

‘Despite the union’s promises, this strike has affected the Easter holiday plans of thousands of hard-working people.’

Mr Walsh has withdrawn the travel perks from the staff who took part in the first strike action earlier this month.

Cabin crew strike
Unite, the trade union that represents the majority of British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has announced its intention to take strike action from 27 to 30 March 2010.
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on 27 and 30 March 2010

For more information: All The Latest Advice For British Airways Passengers GO
• Source(s): U.K. Press & British Airways



All The Latest Advice For British Airways Passengers

All The Latest Advice For British Airways Passengers

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NEWS••• As British Airways cabin crew stage their three days of strike action, the airline claims to have been able to reinstate a number of cancelled flights.

BA had originally cancelled more than 1,000 flights out of 1,950 scheduled to fly.
But on Saturday afternoon, the company said it had reinstated a number of flights to and from UK and European destinations, as well as New York.
BA had earlier said it was confident that 65% of passengers would be able to reach their destinations.
Some passengers were travelling with other carriers on specially-chartered planes.
Here is all the latest travel information and passenger advice:
Heathrow Airport
Around two-thirds of BA’s long-haul services are expected to fly this weekend and fewer than a third of short-haul flights.

Flights to Dublin, Frankfurt, Rome, Moscow, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong were among those running as usual.
Gatwick Airport
BA plans to operate all long-haul flights to and from the airport plus around half of short-haul flights this weekend.

London City Airport
All flights in and out of the airport are running as normal.

Newcastle Airport
BA flies one route to Heathrow. A spokeswoman for the airport said the four daily weekend flights and the five daily midweek flights had been cancelled

Airports in Scotland
BA is running a reduced service from airports in Scotland complemented by more than 20 chartered aircraft.

Just one flight left from Edinburgh and Glasgow airports for Heathrow this morning, with all other return flights cancelled. Gatwick flights ran as normal.
The airline was operating its normal three scheduled return flights from Aberdeen Airport.
Advice for passengers
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled over the three days can either apply for a refund or rebook their ticket within 355 days, subject to availability.
For customers who are booked on a package holiday, with BA as the carrier, the Civil Aviation Authority says they too should be covered.
BA has urged people to check its website or call its helpline on 08444 930 787 for more details on which services will be operating and what happens to affected customers.
However, refunds will not be allowed unless the fare rules for that particular ticket allow.
The Association of British Insurers has given the following advice:
:: BA is responsible for flight arrangements, so discuss the options with the airline
:: Your travel insurance policy will set out what you are covered for
:: Cover under travel insurance for cancellation will vary. Some policies may or may not cover industrial action

Further strike action
Another four-day stoppage is planned from March 27 and further action is expected from mid-April unless the deadlock is broken.

BA said as far as the second planned strike was concerned, it would finalise its flight arrangements early next week.

Cabin crew strike
Unite, the trade union that represents the majority of British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has announced its intention to take strike action from 20 to 22 March and 27 to 30 March 2010.
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on 23 and 24 March 2010

• Source(s): Sky News & British Airways


Battle of British Airways begins as last-ditch talks collapse

Battle of British Airways begins as last-ditch talks collapse

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NEWS••• Recriminations as airline ‘hawks’ refuse to re-table original pay offer to cabin staff / PM appeals for Unite to call off the strike, as Tories highlight Labour’s links to union.
Thirteen months of ill-tempered negotiations ended yesterday afternoon when talks broke down between British Airways and the cabin crew union, Unite. During the next three days, many of BA’s cabin crew will strike in a bitter dispute over cost-cutting and working practices. They risk the permanent loss of travel perks, while the airline has vowed to fly two out of three passengers booked to travel. The battle of British Airways has begun.

War was declared when a last-ditch attempt to seek agreement, brokered by the TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, collapsed. The union was prepared to reconsider an offer tabled by BA’s management the previous week, which included partial reinstatement of cabin crew on services to and from Heathrow as well as guarantees to existing staff. But this proposal had been abruptly withdrawn when the union announced a strike eight days ago. BA demanded that any new settlement included recovering the costs incurred as a result of the strike call. Unite rejected any such terms.
Both sides in the most serious dispute in UK aviation history expressed fury after three days of talks foundered. Tony Woodley, Unite’s joint general secretary, said the “hawks” on BA’s board of directors had prevailed.

Cabin crew strike
Unite, the trade union that represents the majority of British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has announced its intention to take strike action from 20 to 22 March and 27 to 30 March 2010.
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on 23 and 24 March 2010

• Source(s): U.K. Press & British Airways



Labour under fire over British Airways strike

Labour under fire over British Airways strike

Saturday, March 20, 2010


••• David Cameron has accused Gordon Brown of failing to act over the BA strike because the Unite union is “bankrolling” the Labour party.

The Tory leader hit out at Labour’s “vested interests” after a three-day cabin crew strike began.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh personally apologised to passengers in a video message, saying: “I am deeply sorry. This is a terrible day for BA.”

He said he had received many messages of support from customers, some of whom had urged him to “stand firm” against union pressure over cost-cutting.
BA has warned passengers flights could be cancelled even after the first three-day cabin crew strike ends because of a “knock-on effect” on flight scheduling.

The airline is urging people to check its official website to find out which services will be operating and what happens to affected customers.

Cabin crew strike
Unite, the trade union that represents the majority of British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has announced its intention to take strike action from 20 to 22 March and 27 to 30 March 2010.
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on 23 and 24 March 2010

• Source(s): ITN & British Airways



British Airways strike to go ahead as rail union votes for walkout

British Airways strike to go ahead as rail union votes for walkout

Friday, March 19, 2010


••• Final hour talks to avert a three-day strike by British Airways cabin crew collapsed today, just hours after Britain’s disgruntled rail workers voted to walk out.

There was misery for holidaymakers today as last ditch talks aimed at averting strikes by British Airways cabin crew collapsed.

Planned industrial action will go ahead from midnight after officials from the Unite union failed to reach a breakthrough with BA’s chief executive Willie Walsh in a bitter row over cost-cutting.

Unite’s joint leader, Tony Woodley, said he was “extremely disappointed” that the efforts to head off a three-day strike from tomorrow had failed and accused BA of wanting a “war” with the union.

He emerged from five hours of talks with Mr Walsh at the TUC headquarters in London today saying BA had tabled a worse offer than one withdrawn last week.

He said: “It is an absolute disgrace and an insult to our people that he (Mr Walsh) tabled a deal that reduced the amount of pay on offer.

“It is ridiculous to expect anyone to go to their membership with a worse offer.”

The union has announced another four-day walkout from March 27 which will spell misery for the great Easter getaway.

And the news came just hours after railway signal workers voted for the first national rail strike in 16 years, which is expected to add to the transport chaos.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union announced it had received an overwhelming support from workers for strike action – with more than half in favour of the national stoppage.

RMT said 54 per cent of its members backed strikes, with 77 per cent supporting industrial action short of a strike. Turnout in the ballot was 71 per cent.

Maintenance workers belonging to the RMT union have already voted to go on strike in protest at the 1,500 job losses at Network Rail.

The RMT’s executive will meet next Thursday to consider its next move, warning that action will be called if there is no progress in the dispute.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Once again in this ballot RMT members have shown that they back the union’s campaign against Network Rail’s cuts programme and the assault on jobs and working conditions that even the Government’s own regulator, the Office of Rail Regulation, has said will have severe safety implications out on the tracks.

“Nobody should be under any illusions about just how determined RMT members are to win our fight against Network Rail’s cuts programme and to stop this reckless gamble with rail safety.

“Over 150 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion opposing Network Rail’s cuts plans and have urged the Government to intervene to call a halt to this jobs carnage on the tracks.

“RMT remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement with Network Rail based on protecting safety-critical jobs and safe working practices. With the combination of the strike mandates, political and public pressure the focus is now on the company to pull back from the brink and reverse their cuts programme.”

Yesterday RMT officials met executives at Network Rail (NR), which is seeking to cut jobs and change working practices to allow more maintenance work to be carried out at weekends.

The company described the talks as “professional” and “business-like”, and the RMT negotiators will report back to the union’s executive today.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association have also voted in favour of industrial action, threatening the biggest outbreak of industrial unrest on the railways for more than a decade.

NR has said 1,100 workers have already volunteered for redundancy and the “vast majority” of the 1,500 cuts will be achieved without the need for compulsory lay-offs.

The firm said it believed it could keep trains running in the event of a strike by maintenance workers, adding that it was not prepared to have the RMT “hold the country to ransom”.

NR placed full-page adverts in national newspapers yesterday, warning that strikes would be “totally unjustified”.

Cabin crew strike
Unite, the trade union that represents the majority of British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has announced its intention to take strike action from 20 to 22 March and 27 to 30 March 2010.
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on 23 and 24 March 2010

• Source(s): U.K. Press, ITN & British Airways


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