British Airways seeks high court injunction to stop threatened August pilots’ strike

©British Airways

British Airways (BA) is seeking a high court injunction to stop a potential pilots’ strike with a hearing due in the high court on Tuesday morning. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has rejected a pay offer for BA pilots of 11.5% set over three years, despite Unite and GMB trade unions acting for BA in other roles recommending its acceptance. 93% of the carrier’s 4,000 pilots voted in favor of strike action which has been penciled in to commence August 7, peak summer holiday period for travelers.

Legally, BALPA must give BA at least two weeks’ notice of any strike action. Negotiations began back in November last year and while BALPA has indicated it was still open to talks with BA management, today’s announcement comes after three days of mediation talks with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) broke down. The union’s general secretary, Brian Strutton, said the mandate demonstrated the pilots’ resolve and the need for BA to improve its offer to avert a strike: “Settlement of this dispute is in BA’s hands. We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November. It is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months.”

Commenting on the announcement from BALPA, BA said: “We are very disappointed that BALPA has chosen to threaten the travel plans of thousands of our customers, over the summer holidays, with possible strike action. We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to protect our customers’ travel plans and avoid industrial action and we urge BALPA to return to talks as soon as possible.” This summer may be a problematic time for London’s Heathrow Airport, the home of BA, as strikes by thousands of airport workers are also threatened over this period.

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