British Airways pilots represented by the British Airline Pilots Union (BALPA) at London Gatwick and Heathrow are to hold three days of strike action in September 2019.
This follows a pay dispute between BA and BALPA. The strikes will be held from:
00:01 BST Monday 9 September 2019 to 23:59 BST Tuesday 10 September 2019
00:01 BST to 23:59 BST Friday 27 September 2019
The follows a vote for industrial action announced on Monday 22 July 2019, where 90% of BA pilots represented by BALPA voted 93% in favour of industrial action.
BA did attempt to seek an injunction to stop the strike at the High Court but this was unsuccessful. Talks have been taking place at the conciliation service ACAS but these have broken down without agreement.
BALPA has released the following statement:
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has today given notice to British Airways that it will call on its members to strike on 9th, 10th and 27th September 2019.
Over several days of ACAS talks BALPA put forward a number of packages that we believe would have resolved this dispute without a strike, and which we could have recommended to our members for acceptance prior to strike action. BA did not accept any of these packages, and it is clear following discussions with members over the last few days that BA’s most recent offer will not gain the support of anywhere near a majority of its pilots.
In these circumstances, with a 93% vote in favour of taking industrial action, and with no prospect of any further meaningful talks, we have no choice but to call this action.
A day of strike action will cost BA around £40m. Three days will cost in the region of £120m. The gap between BA’s position and BALPA’s position is about £5m. Our proposal remains on the table should BA wish to reach agreement prior to strike action.
British Airways is an extremely profitable and successful company, and pilots have been proud to play their part in that. In 2018 the company announced profits of £2bn. Over recent years BA pilots have made sacrifice after sacrifice to assist the company such as taking a pay cut, productivity increases, closing the final salary pension scheme, giving up annual leave days, a new rostering system, and reducing flying pay.
In what is British Airways’ centenary year, this will be the very first time its pilots will go on strike. They do so as a last resort and with enormous frustration at the way the business is now being run.
Our ballot is valid until January, and more dates may be announced until such time as this matter is resolved.
In response British Airways has released the following statement:
It is completely unacceptable that BALPA is destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action.
BALPA has given us notice that they will strike on September 9th, 10th and 27th.
We are extremely sorry that after many months of negotiations, based on a very fair offer, BALPA has decided on this reckless course of action.
We are now making changes to our schedule. We will do everything we can to get as many people away on their journeys as possible.
However, it is likely that many of our customers will not be able to travel and we will be offering refunds and re-bookings for passengers booked on cancelled flights.
Flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected
We are exploring options to supplement our fleet by using aircraft and crew from other airlines (wet-leasing)
We are working with our partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft to take the maximum number of customers
Our proposed deal of 11.5 per cent over three years is very fair and well above the UK’s current rate of inflation, and by contrast to BALPA, has been accepted by the members of the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 per cent of all British Airways colleagues including engineers, cabin crew and ground staff.
In addition to basic pay, pilots also receive annual pay increments and regular flying allowances.
We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers’ travel plans
BALPA represent the vast majority of BA pilots at Gatwick and Heathrow. If the strike goes ahead it would result in very significant disruption. There would also be residual disruption beyond the strike, particularly to inbound flights, due to aircraft and crews being out of position.
Flights operated by BA CityFlyer from London City and London Stansted will not be affected by industrial action.
Codeshare flights operated by partner airlines and flights operated by franchise partners SUN-AIR of Scandinavia A/S and Comair in South Africa will also not be affected.
British Airways Contingency & Rebooking Plans
BA is providing passenger guidance on a dedicated page of its website.
BA has little option but to announce significant cancellations.
BA has introduced a flexible rebooking policy allowing passengers to change their flights to dates outside of the strike and periods at risk of residual disruption.
If you are due to fly to / from Gatwick or Heathrow on BA between Sunday 8 September and Friday 13 September 2019 or Monday 26 September and Wednesday 28 September 2019, you can rebook on to an alternative BA service up to 355 days’ ahead.
BA should also rebook passengers whose flights have been cancelled onto partner & rival airlines. However, it may take time to put these arrangements in place.
There is of course every possibility that the strike could be called off which can happen at any time between now and immediately before the strike is due to start. Based on previous incidences of strike action, BA will reinstate any cancelled flights if the strike is called off.
In the interim, the best advice for passengers is to check that you have up to date e-mail and telephone contact details for each booking you hold in the Manage By Booking tool and have the BA app installed on your smartphone.Continue reading “British Airways Pilot Strike – 9, 10 & 27 September 2019”