Hundreds of British Airways staff have voted to walk out in industrial action this summer at London Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL) adding to the travel chaos already hitting UK travellers.
The strike is being called by members of the Unite and GMB unions, representing largely non-flying staff at British Airways such as ground handlers and check-in staff.
Unions say that the industrial action has resulted from the 10% pay cut, imposed during the pandemic when hardly any flights were operating, not being reversed.
It is understood that British Airways says it has contingency plans in place to mitigate the strike action by using other staff such as cabin crew and managers to operate check-in desks and using 3rd party companies to handle ramp duties.
The airline has not ruled out flights being cancelled as a result of the action though with high-frequency routes from Terminal 5 are likely to be most affected.
Ahead of the vote, Nadine Houghton, National Officer for the GMB, said: “Staff have been verbally and physically abused by angry passengers after British Airways’ staff shortages and IT failures nearly brought the airport to a standstill”.
“On top of that, they had their pay slashed during BA’s callous fire and rehire policy. Now they want that money back,”
British Airways said it has offered staff a 10% payment for this year to compensate for the pandemic cut but it has been rejected adding that that airline remains fully committed to talks with the unions.