BA strike ballot result due today

| February 22, 2010 | 0 Comments

Fears of travel chaos could emerge later as the results of a ballot is set to be announced.

A second strike ballot for British Airways (BA) 12,000 cabin crew members is to close today after they vowed to take industrial action over cost-cutting measures, which include a pay freeze and a switch to part-time working for thousands of staff.

Cabin crew members were scheduled to take 12 days of strike action over the Christmas period but the High Court ruled that the Unite union had not correctly included the votes of some cabin crew who had already accepted voluntary redundancy under the airline’s cost-cutting programme.

Last week, the union was also unsuccessful in its High Court action against BA to stop the airline from imposing cost-cutting measures.

BA has admitted in the past that it is fighting for its survival and said the cost-cutting programme is part of a strategy to reduce salary costs.

Willie Walsh, BA’s chief executive, has said he has no intention of reversing his cost-cutting programme. He said: “It is absolutely clear that the changes we have made have proved to be the right thing to do.”

More than 80% of eligible staff are expected to vote and union officials are confident of another resounding “yes” vote.

Unite will have to give seven days notice of any strike action - which could begin as early as next Monday, March 1.

Should a strike go ahead, BA has been training other staff, including pilots, to take the place of cabin crew.

Unite has said it will not disrupt services over the Easter period.

The news comes as pilots at German carrier, Lufthansa, have gone on strike today after concerns that the country’s flag carrier would transfer jobs to foreign subsidiaries such as Austrian Airlines or Lufthansa Italia where wages are lower.

The four-day strike is expected to cause widespread disruption.

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