British Airways (BA) mixed fleet cabin crew employees who are members of the trade union Unite are striking in a dispute over pay.
Approximately 2,900 members are taking part in the 48-hour strike action, beginning from 7.00am this morning (Tuesday 10 January 2017) at the Unite offices at Heathrow.
Unite members rejected a pay offer that was negotiated at the conciliation service Acas before Christmas. Previous strike action planned for Christmas Day and Boxing Day was postponed to allow members to vote on the pay offer.
According to Unite, the basic pay for BA mixed fleet cabin crew starts at £12,192 a year, with £3 an hour flying pay. The union estimates that mixed fleet cabin crew earn £16,000 a year on average, including allowances.
BA states that all mixed fleet cabin crew earn more than £21,000 a year. A spokesperson at BA explained that a starting salary would only be £12,192 a year if the cabin crew employee never flew.
A spokesperson at British Airways said: “Our proposal for our mixed fleet cabin crew is consistent with pay deals agreed with Unite for other British Airways colleagues. It also reflects pay awards given by other [organisations] in the UK and will ensure their reward levels remain in line with cabin crew at our airline competitors.
“New cabin crew in their first year working full time at British Airways will receive more than £21,000 based on pay, allowances, incentive and bonus. We have offered an independent audit of our pay data over the last 12 months to support our statement that mixed fleet cabin crew all earn more than £21,000. The pay data shows that the range of earnings paid out full time to mixed fleet drew between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 was £21,151.35-£27,356.30.
“The strike action is only serving to cause anxiety among our mixed fleet cabin crew colleagues who do a tremendous job for our customers. We continue to be available for further dialogue with Unite.”
Oliver Richardson, national officer at Unite, said: “More and more mixed fleet cabin crew have joined Unite as this dispute over poverty pay has gone on. Increasingly tired of delivering a first class service for poverty pay, mixed fleet cabin crew are at breaking point over pay levels, which are forcing many of them to take a second job or turn up to work unfit to fly.
“Despite British Airways walking away from meaningful talks, we would urge it to listen to its mixed fleet cabin crew who work tirelessly to serve passengers and contribute massively to the success of the airline.”