Strikes scheduled for Sept. 9, 10: BALPA union
LONDON (Bloomberg) — British Airways pilots put forward a new contract proposal and pledged to call off a planned walkout if management returns to the bargaining table.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) said it made the proposal directly to Alex Cruz, chief executive officer of the IAG SA unit. Without meaningful discussions, strikes scheduled for Sept. 9 and 10 would go ahead, the group said. BALPA has also scheduled a strike on Sept. 27.
In a statement, the airline said it’s available for talks, but only if there aren’t any preconditions.
Warding off walkouts would lower the threat to earnings and passenger disruption at British Airways, the biggest U.K. airline operating hundreds of flights every day across Heathrow and other London airports. BALPA called for a strike after mediated talks with management at the state-backed Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ended without a deal.
The planned labor action is timed for the tail end of the peak summer season for European travel. BA’s lucrative long-haul routes helped lift IAG’s second-quarter operating profit by 18 per cent, the best performance among leading European carriers.
BA cockpit crews voted to strike by a 93 per cent majority in a poll in July, with the carrier saying the disruption could cost 40 million pounds (US$48 million) a day.
BALPA is also campaigning at Ryanair, where U.K. pilots plan to walk out for an additional seven days. Five days of strikes failed to disrupt schedules or bring the discount airline, which uses many non-union contract pilots, back to the bargaining table.