16-Dec-2009 9:07 AM

British Airways commencing legal action over Unite Christmas strike

British Airways stated (15-Dec-2009) it is commencing legal action in an attempt to "protect customers from the massive stress and disruption threatened by Unite's decision to call a 12-day strike from 22-Dec-2009". The airline stated it has written to Unite, highlighting "irregularities in the union's strike ballot, which the airline believes renders the ballot invalid". As a back-up to the legal action, British Airways managers have been establishing which cabin crew might wish to work normally during the strike period. [more] BA is offering to let customers rebook flights at no charge if they are affected by a cabin crew strike, but the airline is not offering refunds, unless flights are cancelled.

British Airways: "We are absolutely determined to do whatever we can to protect our customers from this appalling, unjustified decision from Unite. We do not want to see a million Christmases ruined. Unite was told about the problems with its ballot on Friday. Yet it cynically went ahead with an extreme, highly publicised threat to our customers and our business in the knowledge that it might not be able to carry it out. We remain available for talks with Unite at any time without preconditions", Willie Walsh, CEO. Source: British Airways, 15-Dec-2009.

British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (branch of Unite): “[British Airways CEO, Willie] Walsh is literally trying to turn the national airline of this country into Ryanair…Ruined Christmases will eventually be forgotten, certainly by next Christmas, but your terms and conditions are something you will have with you for the rest of your working life. BA must be made to see sense and it was reluctantly felt only 'audacious’ action would have any effect”. Source: The Telegraph, 15-Dec-2009.

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