BA cabin crews plan 24-hour strike over pay

(First Edition)

DOMESTIC and European flights of British Airways face disruption on Tuesday because of a 24-hour strike by cabin crew, writes Martin Whitfield.

The stoppage, by 2,600 staff, follows the imposition of planned pay cuts of pounds 2,000 a year on 550 cabin crew based in Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. George Ryde, national secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, said the union was willing to negotiate new terms and conditions but its members were not prepared to submit to management dictat.

British Airways said it was confident that staff would report for duty and that it would be able to maintain scheduled services. Its regional services had been in deficit and action had to be taken to cut costs. The pay reductions were necessary for the company to compete with regional airlines where salaries were lower.

The average salary of BA cabin staff, including allowances, is about pounds 16,000.

All those likely to suffer from the changes were offered a lump sum of

pounds 5,000, a phased pay reduction over 18 months or alternative employment in London, a BA spokesman said.