Now British Airways workers vote to strike – and target summer getaway for maximum impact

British Airways’ check-in staff and ground crew at Heathrow have voted to go on strike with walkouts timed for the start of the summer holidays.

Holidaymakers now face a “gruelling summer of travel chaos,” GMB, the union behind the strikes has said.

About 700 employees at the airport balloted for industrial action in results announced on Thursday afternoon. The GMB union must now give two weeks’ notice to BA before walking out, meaning strike action could not begin until the beginning of July at the earliest.

But it is understood the union will delay strikes until the third or fourth weekend in July to coincide with the start of the summer holiday getaway to maximise “leverage”.

The dispute centres around a ten per cent cut to wages imposed by BA on employees at Heathrow during the pandemic which the union wants reinstated. BA is understood to be offering a one-off ten per cent payment but the union says this is only for one year rather than a permanent reinstatement of the pre-pandemic salary.

Workers are ‘furious’

According to the GMB, workers are “furious” that check-in staff “have had nothing” and “despite bosses having their pre-covid pay rates reinstated”.

The union said it was likely BA employees at Gatwick would also begin balloting for strike action in a different dispute.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, has accused BA of operating a “callous fire and rehire policy” and that unrest “is now starting to spread like wildfire to other groups of BA workers with many more now considering a vote to walk out”. 

The union leader said earlier in the month: “British Airways faces a gruelling summer of travel chaos if they won’t give these workers what’s rightfully theirs.” 

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