Unite the Union, a union of workers in Britain and Ireland, announced that its cabin crew members working for British Airways ‘mixed fleet’ will take a 48-hour strike starting Tuesday, 10th of January 2017, after the airline refused to extend the mandate of the strike vote to allow for talks to resolve an ongoing dispute over ‘poverty pay’ to continue.

Unite said its members were legally required to take industrial action within 28 days of voting for it, unless the airline agreed to an extension.

The move follows repeated attempts by Unite to hold meaningful talks with the airline after ‘mixed fleet’ cabin members voted to reject a pay offer negotiated at the conciliation service Acas, before Christmas. A two day stoppage scheduled for Christmas day and Boxing day was suspended to allow Unite members to vote on the offer.

Travellers at airports across the UK will be hit by two days of strikes as workers at Swissport, the world’s largest ground and cargo handler, go on strike for two days on 23 and 24 December.   

According to communications seen by the union, as mentioned in its official statement, British Airways initially informed cabin crew they could receive the original inferior pay deal this month if they declared they were not a member of a trade union. Subsequently this offer, which was rejected by 93% of Unite members in ballot earlier in 2016, was extended to all ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew.

Commenting Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “Unite remains hopeful that a negotiated settlement which meets our members’ aspirations can be achieved and would urge British Airways to engage constructively in meaningful talks to address poverty pay.”