LONDON – British Airways says it was forced to cancel all of flights for 2 days after the British pilots union went ahead with a strike. A labor dispute that could cost the carrier 80 million pounds ($98 million).
British Airways told the BBC that the pilots had been offered a deal that would have made them among the best paid air crew in the world.
The pilots’ union said the figures and that most of the union’s members at BA will earn a lot less.
BA pilots are seeking a share of the record profits just as they shared the pain in the bad times, the union added.
The airline has accused Balpa of not acting in good faith. Making “an eleventh hour inflated proposal” which BA said would cost an additional 50 million pounds.
The pilots say that BA has ignored reasonable proposals for higher wages and improved benefits and their demands.
The pilots have “consistently offered up chances for the company to negotiate a way forward,” The Union said. “British Airways must put the needs of its staff and passengers first and accept that its pilots will not be bullied.”
Union Causes Misery for 300,000 passengers British Airways Passengers
The union strike will effect 300,000 passengers in the coming days as British Airways’ first ever pilot strike.
The airline warned pilots that anyone who goes on strike will lose travel perks for themselves and their families. For the next three years, the FT reported.
BA has issued “various threats which suggest BA has no intention of helping defuse the situation,” the pilots said.
The current demands relate to pay, profit sharing, and a share-awards program. The demands come after cockpit crew took salary cuts in the wake of the financial crisis. To help bolster the airline’s finances, according to the union.
IAG reported an 18% jump in profit in the first quarter led by earnings at BA, the best performance by an airline in the period. The strike may undermine that growth, with the carrier saying it could cost 40 million pounds a day.
The pilots union put the cost of settling the strike at 5 million pounds, “one eighth of the cost of just one day’s strike action.” IAG’s shares have fallen 30% in London this year.
The union called for the action after mediated talks with management ended without a deal. British Airways cockpit crews voted to strike by a 93% majority in a poll in July.