New ballot to defend UK cabin crew

Release date: 21/06/2010

The ITF-affiliated UK union Unite, representing the BA cabin crew, announced on 22 June that members would again be balloted on strike action, unless BA demonstrates by next Tuesday that it is willing to enter into talks to solve fresh issues between the parties.

By International Transport Workers' Federation

The almost 12,000 cabin crew are fighting to defend jobs and standards at the airline.

According to Unite, the new issues focus on: the company’s failure to respect the collective agreement by using employees from other areas of work in the company to operate as cabin crew on reduced employment terms; the removal of travel assistance from crew who participated in lawful strike action; and disproportionate and unnecessary disciplinary action against dozens of members for misdemeanours related to the industrial dispute.

If BA fails to work with the union on a solution to these issues, the ballot will open on Tuesday, 29 June and close on Tuesday 27 July.

Brian Boyd, Unite national officer for civil aviation, said: "These three new items have been caused by BA's vindictive behaviour towards employees who participated in lawful industrial action and the ongoing disregard the airline is displaying towards its own workplace agreements.

"Once again, we say to BA. Do not seek conflict. Drop the tough talk and work with us to deliver the change needed for the future and preserve the standards associated with this great airline."

Cabin crew recently took 22 days’ strike action in an as yet unresolved dispute over the imposition of changes to cabin crew operations in November 2009; on 9 June ITF staff joined the picket line at London’s Heathrow airport in support of the workers.

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