British Airways has failed for a second time to challenge the validity of the ballot for industrial action by pilots represented by the British Airline Pilots Association, BALPA.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the High Court that the manner in which the ballot was conducted meant that the strike ballot was lawful.
However, BALPA has not announced any strike dates pending further talks between BA and BALPA at the conciliation service ACAS this week.
If talks break down this week then it is highly likely that BALPA will call industrial action.
BALPA is required by law to give 14 days’ notice to BA of any strike action.
This will cause very significant disruption at London Gatwick and Heathrow.
Flights operated by BA CityFlyer at London City and Stansted will not be affected. Nor will flights operated by BA franchisees SUN-AIR of Scandinavia A/S nor Comair in South Africa.
BALPA has issued the following statement:
The Court of Appeal has rejected British Airways’ attempt to injunct BALPA’s proposed industrial action on a technicality. The legality of BALPA’s ballot has been affirmed.
BA’s case was already dismissed once at the High Court last week, but they insisted on wasting more time in pressing it to an appeal.
BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:
“The Court of Appeal has today rightly dismissed BA’s attempt to injunct this industrial action on a technicality.
“BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution. Now the window for negotiation and compromise is closing fast.”
“BA need to wake up to reality. Our ballot returned 93% in favour of strike action. There is a serious issue here and BA has so far refused to help us tackle it.
“On BA’s own figures submitted to the court, even a single day of strike action will cost far more than we believe it would take to settle this dispute.
“However, BALPA wants to resolve this matter through negotiation and so we are not announcing strike dates. Instead, we have called on BA to hold further talks at ACAS and they have agreed to meet at ACAS today and for the rest of this week for one last try to resolve this dispute by negotiation.
“We have spent four days in talks at ACAS already, and BA refused to move their position one iota. But we hope they now recognise the seriousness of the situation and will work positively with us to find a way forward.
“We are not announcing strike dates today. In any event we are required by law to provide BA with 14 days’ notice of any proposed strike action.”
BA has issued a short statement in response acknowledging today’s judgment. General information is available on a dedicated page on the BA website.
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