August 9, 2022

Image credit: BBC

Heathrow BA strike suspended after new pay offer

Approximately 700 British Airways check-in agents at Heathrow have paused their strike after the carrier reportedly delivered a “vastly better” pay offer, according to unions.

After “intensive” negotiations, according to the Unite union, a settlement was achieved.

Now, the new pay agreement will be put to a vote among members of the Unite and GMB unions.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham stated, “We applaud that BA has finally listened to the views of its check-in personnel.

All of our members, who are mostly low-paid women, demanded the return of the payment reductions that BA withheld from them during the pandemic and threatened to dismiss or rehire them if they refused.

BA expressed its “great pleasure” with the unions’ decision to hold off on setting dates for striking action.

The majority of the check-in staff members who were employed last month decided to protest over wages after learning that a salary cut of 10% that had been implemented during the height of the pandemic had not been reinstated.

BA, which operates out of Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5, had plans to cover personnel, including managers who might be in charge of check-ins, if the strikes had taken place.

The airline first gave staff a temporary bonus of 10% rather than rolling back the compensation reduction. It is known that other departments of British Airways (BA), such as those that work in ground operations, engineering, and cabin crew, have approved the offer, which the unions that represent check-in personnel rejected.

Hundreds of flights throughout the UK were cancelled during the week of the Platinum Jubilee and the school half-term holidays, and concerns have been raised about more travel disruptions during the summer.

The airline industry has struggled to keep up with the surge in demand for foreign travel due to staffing shortages, which has added to the discomfort.

On Wednesday, BA announced that it had eliminated nearly 30,000 flights from its timetable between April and October of this year by cutting 10,300 additional short-haul flights scheduled to operate between August and the end of October.