British Airways faced disruptions at London’s Heathrow airport this summer after hundreds of staff voted to strike, the latest strike action to hit passengers in the UK as railways again came to a near standstill on Thursday.
Both Unite and GMB unions said their members had voted for strike action in two separate votes of registered workers in the wage dispute.
The airline expects the strike to affect about 700 employees, about half of the check-in staff at Heathrow.
Union call Bachelor of Arts Reinstate the 10% pay cut implemented during the pandemic.
“Unite is now giving BA a brief opportunity to cancel the 10 per cent pay cut before announcing the strike, which will cause significant flight disruptions this summer,” the union said.
The airline, which has lost £4bn over the past two years, is instead offering a one-off 10% wage bonus instead of a full pay rise. This is accepted by the rest of the business, including aircrew and ground crew.
Government officials said ministers were still “hopeful” to reach a pay deal with unions as British Rail was disrupted by a strike for the second time in three days.
The RMT union resumed strike action on Thursday amid disputes over wages, unemployment and work practices.
Only about 20% of normal train services are expected to run, with routes closed in many parts of the country. Another strike is scheduled for Saturday.
RMT and rail The industry recovered on Thursday morning after disintegrating in a war of words on Wednesday, with unions refusing to negotiate and threats of forced layoffs looming over members.
Bosses at Network Rail, which owns and manages the infrastructure, said they would continue to cut 1,800 jobs and change working conditions, but said the “vast majority” of job losses could be voluntary.
But a senior administration official close to the talks said the union’s private position was markedly different from the public rhetoric of its executives
“RMT is far more plausible in private conversations than bellicose language in public,” he said. “We remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached.”
Another senior official said that the RMT did not announce further strike dates this summer “indicating that there is still room for agreement”.
RMT leader Mick Lynch said more strikes were “highly likely” if a deal could not be reached, blaming the government for blocking talks.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said there was a path to a deal that included higher pay rises and very few forced layoffs in exchange for changes to the way work was done in the public body’s large maintenance operations.
“We have all the components and we have to make maintenance more efficient,” he said.
Haynes threatened Wednesday Over the heads of union leaders And made an offer directly to Network Rail employees in the company’s referendum on the maintenance change, which he acknowledged would be an escalation and a last resort.
RMT senior director Eddie Dempsey said maintainers were already flexible and he didn’t think they would support the company’s proposal.
Ministers on Thursday outlined new legislation to make it easier for businesses to use “skilled temporary” agency workers to reduce the damage caused by industrial action.
“Removing these 1970s restrictions will give businesses the freedom to quickly acquire fully skilled workers while allowing people to continue living undisturbed to help keep the economy going,” Commerce Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said.
Kate Bell, head of employment rights at the union conference, said the plan was an “attack on the right to strike”.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the move would “fuel more controversy”.