Published on : Thursday, November 2, 2017
Cabin crew members of the Unite union working for BA’s mixed fleet unit at Heathrow have accepted a pay deal by a majority of five to one. The mixed fleet setup was done as a part of the big cabin crew dispute at British Airways in 2011.
Despite operating about one-third of flights to and from Heathrow, the staffs have inferior employment terms to longer-serving cabin crew.
The union said that things became as harsh that cabin crew slept in their cars at Heathrow between shifts because they could not afford the petrol to drive home. Arguing “low pay is a safety issue”, Unite has been demanding an improved pay deal for a long time now.
BA said at the time: “We have proposed a fair and reasonable pay increase to Mixed Fleet cabin crew which is in line with that accepted by other British Airways colleagues.”
According to Unite, the average member of mixed fleet earned £16,000 annually however, the British Airways said the lowest-paid full-time member of mixed fleet earned over £21,000.
Through the summer peak of July and August, the series of strikes affected the travellers. The strikers were supported by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, and other Labour MPs including Dennis Skinner.
Talks restarted in September, and concluded with a settlement that will see salaries rise by between £1,404 and £2,908 by March 2018, depending on experience. Now Unite has dropped the legal action against British Airways. The union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, praised the “determination and solidarity” of Unite members and shop stewards, adding: “Not only does this pay deal start to seriously address long-standing concerns on low pay in British Airways’ mixed fleet, but it also shows that it pays to be a member of a union and of Unite.
British Airways said in a statement that they are pleased that the dispute is over.