31-Mar-2010 9:59 AM

British Airways cabin crew strike action concludes on 30-Mar-2010

British Airways’ cabin crew strike ended at midnight on 30-Mar-2010 (Bloomberg, 30-Mar-2010). Unite stated there is still “no word” on a resumption of negotiations following the strike, while Trades Union Congress (TUC) again stated the two are no closer to talks. BA CEO, Willie Walsh, stated the strike was a failure and called on the union to “give peace a chance” (BBC News, 30-Mar-2010). Mr Walsh also called for Unite to put BA’s latest settlement proposal to a vote among members. Unite rejected the proposal two weeks ago.

  • Schedule: 47% of services were reportedly cancelled on 30-Mar-2010. BA stated it plans to add 16 short-haul services to European destinations, including Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Geneva and Paris for 30-Mar-2010 and 31-Mar-2010, as an increased number of cabin crew return to work;
  • Picketing: Unite transported (30-Mar-2010) striking cabin crew to the TUC in London to demonstrate their desire for a negotiated settlement to the dispute; [more]
  • Strike cost: Unite predicted the strike action will cost BA a total of GBP100 million. Analysts at Citi stated they expect the strikes are expected to cost the carrier GBP72 million, higher than BA’s estimate of losses of GBP43 million (Dow Jones, 30-Mar-2010). Citi states its estimate takes into account lost revenue, resultant from passengers booking with other carriers. The analysts estimated the carrier lost GBP82 million in revenue and GBP12 million in additional costs, which was offset by GBP22 million in direct operating cost savings and overtime payments;
  • Staff relations: Unite also warned the industrial action will “undermine staff relations for years” (guardian.co.uk, 30-Mar-2010). Mr Walsh, dismissed the claims, stating it has provided Unite and its cabin crew several opportunities to reach an agreement.

Unite: “The relationship between the flight deck and cabin crew is paramount and this approach has dangerously undermined that relationship. We are talking about 13,000 customer-facing employees. Even after a negotiated agreement is reached, the relationship issue will go on for years. The ill-feeling and mistrust between groups will go into the future,” Steve Turner, National Aviation Officer. Source: guardian.co.uk, 30-Mar-2010.

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