The Unite union has confirmed 20 further days of industrial action at British Airways in a dramatic escalation in its ongoing battle with the airline.
Following the “overwhelming” rejection of the company’s latest pay offer by cabin crew in a ballot last week, Unite confirmed dates for four strike periods in May and June.
The first strike will take place on May 18th-22nd inclusive, followed by strikes beginning on May 24th, May 30th and June 5th.
Each strike will last for five days.
Unite’s joint general secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said: “Passengers and investors alike will be dismayed that British Airways’ management rejected an approach by the union over the weekend, after their offer had been comprehensively turned down by their own employees.
“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”
“The seven days notice period is sufficient time for BA management to do the sensible thing and reopen meaningful negotiations.”
Unite is also intending to hold a further industrial action ballot of BA cabin crew over issues which have arisen from the company’s conduct during the dispute.
In a statement British Airways responded: “We are disappointed that Unite, the trade union for British Airways cabin crew, has announced that it intends to take further strike action.
“We are currently considering our response so we can minimise any disruption during this strike period.”
Contingency plans during the last strike saw the majority of the airline’s short-haul services depart as normal, while a number of long-haul services were also able to operate.
Details of the latest pay deal were not given by British Airways.
However, Unite said BA had failed to restore the travel perks it withdrew from staff involved in the previous strikes in March.
Those stoppages grounded hundreds of flights and cost BA an estimated £45m.
Reports have suggested this change in focus – away from pay and conditions and toward mitigation of damage caused by previous strikes – may offer British Airways an avenue to legally challenge the latest action.