BA cabin crew begin voting on strike action
Thousands of British Airways cabin crew started voting today on whether to launch a pre-Christmas strike in protest at "far-reaching" changes to working practices.
New employment contracts came into force today despite opposition from Unite, which warned that they were "unworkable".
More than 12,000 ballot papers were issued and the result will be announced on 14 December, raising the threat of strikes just days before Christmas.
Unite said it was concerned that the changes would increase stress levels among cabin crew because fewer staff would be on duty during flights.
The union said services to passengers would suffer and the health and safety of workers would be hit.
National officer Brian Boyd said: "The way to deliver change is through negotiation, not imposition. Cabin crew are angry - they care passionately about this business, but feel they are not being listened to on serious matters of service delivery.
"This business is all about its customers and the crew do not want them to suffer as a result of these changes."
Unite called on BA to abandon the new contracts and work with the union to try to achieve a negotiated settlement.
National officer Steve Turner said: "We have lodged a formal letter with BA on behalf of our 12,000-plus cabin crew members who strongly oppose the company's plans to force through cuts.
"Crews being forced to work under protest retain their legal rights to pursue a reversal of the imposition as well as significant compensation, and we continue to fight this case in the High Court."
The union announced it had instructed a team of employment specialists to monitor the impact of the new contracts in the coming weeks.
BA is reducing jobs and freezing pay under cost-cutting plans in the face of huge losses and a downturn in the aviation industry.
The company maintains the changes are vital for its future.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...