British unions have warned that passengers could be facing disruption this summer after announcing plans to ballot British Airways check-in staff at London Heathrow on strike action.
Unite said check-in staff at the British flag carrier were angry that management has refused to reverse a 10% pay cut imposed on them during the COVID-19 pandemic, while management pay has been restored to pre-pandemic levels.
“British Airways used the cover of Covid to brutally cut members’ pay,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said in a statement on May 30, 2022. “BA has now reversed the pay cuts imposed on management but refuses to do this for our members. This is disgraceful.”
The ballot of around 500 staff will run from June 7-27, 2022. The union said that should workers vote in favor of industrial action, walkouts could take place in July, during the peak summer travel period.
“A strike by our members will make an immediate impact on the service to customers so I urge BA to get a grip and restore these workers’ pay immediately,” Graham added.
Unite added that the GMB union is also balloting its members who work at Heathrow on strike action. GMB has also said that any industrial action will take place over the busy summer travel period.
UK travelers have already faced disruption over Easter and May vacation periods due to staff shortages at airlines and airports.
“BA forced our members into pay cuts during the pandemic, when they had little workplace power to fight back,” Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer said in a statement from May 18, 2022.
“Now our members are back at work and staff shortages are hammering the company – it is their time to claim back what is theirs.”