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Published on : Friday, February 17, 2017
With another cabin-crew strike by British Airways which cancelled 10 flights today to and from Heathrow, including a round-trip to Doha, Thomas Cook has taken over to operate some flights from Heathrow to Manchester and back.
Members of the Unite union working for BA’s “Mixed Fleet” operation have taken 11 days of industrial action so far this year in a dispute over what they term “poverty pay”. A BA spokesperson declined to comment on the detail of the sanctions and just responded saying they want to encourage their colleagues to come to work and therefore have repeatedly explained the consequences of taking strike action to them.
Mixed Fleet flights to and from Hamburg and Dusseldorf have been cancelled, as well as two round-trips to Aberdeen. The airline says passengers will be accommodated on other services. BA’s Mixed Fleet operation serves around 50 domestic, European and long-haul routes from Heathrow. The staffs were recruited since the last cabin-crew dispute ended in 2010 but are complaining that they are employed on inferior terms to longer-serving staff.
BA’s Worldwide cabin crew, who are not involved in the dispute operated the flights to Doha. But they are being deployed elsewhere to cover for Mixed Fleet operations. Passengers on the cancelled Doha flights are being switched to Qatar Airways services. Qatar Airways owns one-fifth of IAG, BA’s holding company.
Unite says cabin crew earn an average of £16,000, including allowances, a year. BA does not recognise this figure, saying that the lowest paid full-time member of Mixed Fleet earned more than £21,000 last year.