British Airways cabin crew ramp up strike action with fresh 72-hour walkout set for 19 January

Rebecca Smith
BA cancelled 48 flights for the last bout of industrial action
BA cancelled 48 flights for the last bout of industrial action (Source: Getty)

British Airways cabin crew will stage a fresh 72-hour walkout from 19 January in an ongoing dispute over pay, Unite union has announced.

Members of the so-called mixed fleet cabin crew (working long- and short-haul flights) at Heathrow will take part in a three-day strike next week. The union said it marked a stand against "poverty pay".

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “British Airways should be under no illusion about our members’ determination to secure a settlement that addresses their concerns over poverty pay."

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He said that BA "refuses to talk meaningfully about their legitimate concerns" and encouraged the company "to avoid the inconvenience and disruption of industrial action by meaningfully addressing levels of poverty pay which are causing financial worry and distress to mixed fleet cabin crew".

The union has said over 800 members of cabin crew have joined the union since the start of the dispute, taking its membership to over 2,900.

A two-day walkout at Heathrow was held by members of the union on 10 and 11 January. BA said it had cancelled 48 flights ahead of the action and flights "departed as planned on both days".

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The airline said its proposal for mixed fleet cabin crew "is consistent with pay deals agreed with Unite for other British Airways colleagues" and reflected pay awards given by other firms in the UK.

Regarding the fresh action, BA said: "We will again aim to ensure that all our customers travel to their destinations in this period and we will publish more details on Monday (January 16) once we have finalised our contingency plans.

"Mixed Fleet Unite's attempt to create uncertainty for customers and further division among its own members is completely without justification. We have spent many days in negotiation and agreed a deal with Unite's general secretary, Len McCluskey, before Christmas – but the Mixed Fleet Unite branch refused to recommend it and said it had been rejected on the basis of an online poll that lacked control over who voted or how many times an individual could vote."

It comes amid a week of travel disruption, after a 24-hour Tube strike on Monday was followed by the announcement of a ballot for strike action in another dispute, and a fresh date of 6 February for the row over staffing to escalate, which caused Monday's action.

Walkouts were also held this week on Southern rail by train drivers' union Aslef, with another planned for tomorrow, and the RMT union has announced Southern rail guards will stage another strike on 23 January.

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