British Airways (BA) check-in and ground staff, half of whom are members of the GMB union, have overwhelmingly voted for strike action over what has been referred to as “fire and rehire” reduced pay. The remainder, who belong to the Unite union, are also being balloted, and results should be known on Monday.
For the GMB union members, 95% of an 80% turnout voted in favour of strike action which will likely occur during the school holidays. The principal cause for complaint relates to the “fire and rehire” policy operated by BA during the pandemic where these workers’ pay was effectively cut by 10%. While many other BA employees have had their wages reinstated, these low-paid workers, mainly women, have not, and a one-off 10% bonus with no increase in their current wage proposition from BA has been rejected. GMB has pointed out that bosses’ pay has returned to pre-pandemic levels and BA’s parent company, IAG, is set to see its CEO awarded a bonus of £4.9 million if he hits agreed targets.
Nadine Houghton, a GMB national officer, said: “With grim predictability, holiday makers face massive disruption thanks to the pig-headedness of British Airways. Our members need to be reinstated the 10% they had stolen from them last year with full back pay and the 10% bonus which other colleagues have been paid. GMB members at Heathrow have suffered untold abuse as they deal with the travel chaos caused by staff shortages and IT failures. At the same time, they’ve had their pay slashed during BA’s callous fire and rehire policy.”
Additionally, many thousands of BA engineers, at Heathrow, Gatwick and in Scotland, along with call centre staff in Newcastle and Manchester, are currently conducting consultative ballots over potential strike action in a separate pay dispute.Email Post to a Friend