BA Cargo Strike Starts on Christmas Day After Talks Fail

BA Cargo Strike Starts on Christmas Day After Talks Fail.

Staff working for British Airways’ cargo division will begin a nine-day strike on Christmas Day, as the ‘fire-and-rehire’ dispute continues. Unite the union said talks with the airline have taken place since the strike was announced on December 11 but negotiations “failed to make significant progress”.

In a vote on December 7, 98% of the 840-plus BA cargo staff, mostly based at Heathrow, were in favour of strike action. “The very strong ‘yes’ vote reflects the anger of the workforce to the deep cuts they face to their pay and conditions. Under BA’s fire-and-rehire plan, workers are losing up to 24% of their pay which amounts to between £5,000 and £11,000 per annum.” said the union.

The strike is scheduled to begin at 00:01 on December 25 and will end at 24:00h on January 2. With Heathrow being in Tier 4 and the very high levels of Covid-19 in London, Unite has chosen not to organise pickets during the initial strike. The union said the strike could affect importers have been seeking alternative ways to bring goods into the UK, following the chaos and disruption at the country’s ports.

Unite had reached an agreement with BA in all the other sections of the company where it represents workers, to mitigate its proposals to slash wages. Christmas gifts could be delayed until at least March as a no-deal Brexit causes major causes jams at ports. At the moment, there are 24-hour delays on trucks entering the UK from Europe as hauliers try to rush deliveries through ahead of no-deal coming into force on January 1.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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