Contingencies In Place For Traveling Public
Even as talks between British Airways (BA) and its largest union
resumed Sunday, plans are in place to support the world's 12th
largest airline's customers should the threatened 48-hour cabin
crew strike take place Tuesday and Wednesday.
A strike could affect more than 140,000 passengers, according to
Reuters, and impact flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick
airports. As Aero-News reported, BA has
already cancelled 1,300 flights this week in advance of a
Services will also be affected on either side of the strike,
Monday evening and Thursday morning, BA warned.
Customers can obtain a full refund, rebook their flight, or be
booked onto another airline; BA has established an additional call
center to deal with thousands of passenger calls being made
Spokespeople for BA and the Transport and General Workers' Union
(T&G) both confirmed that talks were continuing but provided no
additional information Sunday.
Following Saturday's day-long negotiations, however, unofficial
sources said some progress had been made, according to The
BA's Chief Executive Willie Walsh is leading company's
negotiators in the talks with union officials, including T&G's
General Secretary Tony Woodley.
The union, which represents 11,000 stewards and stewardesses,
asserts that 96 percent of the cabin crew it represents approve of
a strike; the union threatens two additional 72-hour strikes next
month unless the two sides can come to agreement.
Seventy percent of BA's cabin crew are members of T&G.
In an internal BA memo leaked to The Mail on Sunday, BA staff
are being offered nearly $400 a day in addition to their regular
wages to not participate in the strike.
BA says cabin crew were taking an average of 22 sick days per
year before Walsh took charge; under a new absence policy, the
figure has fallen to 12 days. Other issues under contention include
salary and pensions.
The strike could cost BA more than $29 million dollars each
The airline is encouraging customers to check the British
Airways website for updated information.