Unite threatens fresh strike ballot as bullying feud ignites

TENSIONS between British Airways (BA) and Unite were re-ignited yesterday over allegations of bullying as the trade union representing the airline’s cabin crew warned of a possible fresh wave of strikes to be held over the Christmas period.

An unresolved dispute over bullying allegations made by the union and BA staff during the previous 22 day strike period was unearthed yesterday after it was revealed that more than 80 BA staff were suspended and 13 sacked because of incidents related to the strike.

BA said that most of the suspensions have related to “allegations from other employees of bullying and intimidation” and that it could not ignore them.

A statement said: “Investigations into any allegations are conducted under the company’s disciplinary procedures, which have been in place for many years, are fair, open and transparent and are agreed with all our trade unions, including Unite.”

The union has warned that the airline’s disciplinary action could cause a roadblock to peace talks, as the two are set to meet next week in a bid to end their bitter dispute.

But Unite has warned that a fresh strike ballot could be held if no progress is made, threatening to disrupt Christmas travel.