British Airways (BA/BAW) pilots that are members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) have voted to back a series of strikes in a dispute over a pay deal.
BALPA represents around 90% of British Airways pilots and the union says that 93% of them voted in favour of industrial action.
British Airways offered its pilots a deal which would see their pay rise 11.5% over three years but this was rejected.
The union and the airline have just finished three days of talks with the government conciliation service, ACAS, where BALPA says that British Airways position did not change “one iota”.
British Airways said that it was committed to “pursue every avenue to find a solution to protect our customers’ travel plans and avoid industrial action”.
No dates have been put forward for industrial action but the first one could take place as early as 6th August, the union must give at least two weeks notice, but British Airways has said that it will go to the High Court to seek an injunction against the planned action.
Speaking about the result of the ballot, BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “This strong result demonstrates the resolve of BA pilots, and shows BA that it must table a sensible improved offer if a strike is to be averted. Sadly three days of ACAS talks have not moved the company’s position one iota. Settlement of this dispute is in BA’s hands.
“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November – it is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months.”
In 2018 British Airways made profits of nearly £2bn last year.
According to BALPA: “BA is making massive profits as a result of the hard work and dedication of staff, including because of sacrifices made during hard times. Thankfully BA is no longer in a fight for survival so, like the airline’s senior managers and directors, pilots deserve a small fraction of that profit via, for instance, a profit share scheme.”
It confirmed: “We currently do not have dates for any potential strike action and will issue an update on this in due course. We remain hopeful that this dispute can be resolved before strike action, but we remain committed to action if necessary. “