News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

British Airways staff set for strike

British Airways Cabin crew plan strike

Cabin crew at British Airways plan to hold a 48-hour strike from Jan. 10 in an ongoing pay dispute, the Press Association said on Tuesday, citing the Unite Trade Union.

The walkout comes after Unite members voted by 7 to 1 to reject a pay offer from the airline, the report said.

Crew called off strikes planned for Christmas Day and Boxing Day to allow for talks at the British conciliation service Acas.

“British Airways is needlessly provoking strike action by refusing to extend the mandate of the strike ballot and allow meaningful talks to take place,’’ Unite official Oliver Richardson said.

The strike action is being taken by so-called “mixed fleet’’ cabin crew who joined the company since 2010.

Unite says they are unfairly paid less than their colleagues.

“Instead of listening to why its ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew rejected the offer negotiated at Acas, British Airways has sought instead to try and bully a workforce of young men and women who are trying to eke out a living on poverty pay,’’ Richardson said.

Recall that only recently, Pilots of Lufthansa Airlines embarked on strike to demand pay increment, a situation that forced the airliner to cancel thousands of its flights.

The strike which was planned for two days was however extended as the management of the airline did not yield to their demands.

The strike lasted for 6 days and cost the airline 100 million Euros (104 million dollars) in profits.

The pilots had asked for an average annual pay increase of 3.7 per cent over a five-year period back-dated to 2012, which is when their last collective bargaining contract with Lufthansa expired.

The pilots declared these increases would amount to a rise of nearly 20 per cent on current pay.

Lufthansa has proposed an increase of 4.4 per cent in two instalments in 2016 and 2017, plus a one-off payment worth 1.8 months’ pay.