British Airways canceled all of its flights Monday and Tuesday, nearly 1,700, after most of its pilots refused to go to work over a contract dispute. The pilots’ labor union had rejected a proposed 11.5 percent raise over three years.
British pilots lose flight benefits
British Airways has just cut flight benefits for pilots for the next three years. One of the best perks of working in the airline industry is free or discounted flights. These benefits are offered at the discretion of the airline, and British Airways decided to stop giving them. Many pilots use these benefits as they have to commute to work so this will probably be a big financial hit for them. Will this cut of the benefit last is up to debate.
Why are pilots striking?
British Airways is experiencing record profitability at the moment, and the pilots want their share of the profit. Management has offered an 11.5% pay increase over three years, though pilots want more. British Airways pilots have been balloting over whether or not go on strike. With the balloting having closed, British Airways pilots have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action. The overwhelming majority of 93% voted in favor of industrial action, based on a 90% turnout.
“Pilots are standing firm and have shown just how resolute they are today. British Airways needs to start listening to its pilots and come up with ways of resolving this dispute,” General Secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association, Brian Strutton, said in a press statement.
British Airways and pilots are yet to come to an agreement. The pilots have scheduled another strike for the 27th of September 2019.
British Airways released in their statement:
“We understand the frustration and disruption of BALPA’s strike action have caused you. After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this. Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 percent of our flights. We remain ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA.”