British Airways summer strikes: Unite pauses cabin crew's long-running industrial action in effort to resolve pay dispute

 
Rebecca Smith
The airline has been involved in a bitter dispute with cabin crew members over pay
The airline has been involved in a bitter dispute with cabin crew members over pay (Source: Getty)

Unite union has today called for the British Airways strike impasse to end after bumper industrial action stretching over August in a row over pay.

In a letter to British Airways boss Alex Cruz, Unite's general secretary Len McCluskey said:

You will be aware that we have not issued any further notice for strike action which will currently end on 30 August.

This is in order to create a ‘pause for peace’ so that our respective teams can get around the table with a view to securing a mutually accepted resolution to the current dispute.

Read more: British Airways staff to strike for two weeks in August

Earlier this month, Unite warned of continued legal action and rising costs for the carrier from wet leasing aircraft should BA not engage in fresh talks.

Union members working as cabin crew for BA’s mixed fleet, operating both long-haul and short-haul routes, have carried out near two months of strike action in a row over pay and the sanctioning of striking workers, with the latest batch of action due to continue over the August bank holiday.

The union had previously announced it would pursue legal action on behalf of mixed fleet cabin crew, that it says have been sanctioned for taking strike action, including the removal of bonuses and incentives, and travel concessions.

BA has continued to pledge that all customers will be flown to their destination, despite strike action. For the walkouts planned to run from 16 August until Wednesday 30 August, the airline said it expected to operate "virtually a full schedule", but will merge a small number of Heathrow services.

The airline has been continuing an arrangement with Qatar Airways, where it has been leasing planes and crews in order to provide strike cover.

British Airways said in a statement:

Our preference would be that the 'pause for peace' commences now so that our teams can focus fully on resolution straight away.

If Unite's position remains that the current strike will continue until 30 August, then we will discuss arrangements to meet when the strike is over.

Read more: BA summer strike stand-off: Union warns of ongoing legal action

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