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British Airways faces new threat of strikes

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Consultative vote takes place among employees

British Airways is reported to be facing the threat of a new strike, after cabin crew revealed they were prepared to take industrial action following a dispute over pay.

A consultative ballot took place last week among members of the fleet, with 95% of crew voting to say they would go on strike, a report in the Guardian says. Around a third of eligible crew voted in the ballot.

The mixed fleet reportedly comprises a younger crew, employed under inferior terms and conditions to pre-existing crew.

The last wave of industrial action was in 2010, when bitter disputes with the airline were triggered after cost-cutting lead to 22 days of walkouts. Then-BA boss Willie Walsh, who is now chief executive of parent company IAG, argued that traditional airlines needed to cut costs to survive.

The new BA recruits have been angered by schedules and salaries that see them earning less than their counterparts at no-frills airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair, according to the Guardian. BA is understood to have offered a pay rise in line with inflation to cabin crew on pre-2010 contracts.

“Our cabin crew positions attract a high level of applicants due to the competitive package offered, our extensive route network and promotional opportunities,” a BA spokesman told the Guardian. “We are currently conducting pay talks with all parts of the airline and any talk of industrial action by one of four cabin crew groups is completely speculative.”

Guardian / TTG Digital

[pictured: A380; courtesy British Airways]

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