British Airways workers call off summer strike action after pay offer accepted

·2-min read

British Airways (BA) narrowly averted further travel chaos this summer after a pay increase was accepted by the union that represents thousands of workers.

Hundreds of members of the GMB union voted to call off summer strike action on Friday after accepting the new terms.

The new pay deal - which includes an 8% consolidated pay rise, a one-off bonus, and the reinstatement of shift pay - was backed by 75% of workers.

"No one wanted a summer strike at Heathrow, but our members had to fight for what was right," said Nadine Houghton, GMB national officer.

In June, BA workers at Heathrow voted to strike during the school summer holidays, in a move that was set to cause more travel chaos just as the industry struggles to recover from the COVID pandemic.

At the time, members of the GMB and Unite unions overwhelmingly supported the prospect of industrial action over pay with 95% of those voting, at both unions, backing strikes on turnouts of 81% and 63% respectively.

It meant that more than 700 BA check-in staff and ground-handling agents could have walked out at the height of the summer season.

Aviation workers - predominantly low paid women, according to GMB - were set to walk out after a ten per cent pay cut imposed on them by BA during the pandemic was not reinstated.

"This improved pay deal came because of their efforts," said Ms Houghton.

"Now these mainly women workers have won pay improvements for themselves - as well as forcing BA to make this offer to the rest of their staff too," she said. "Our members stood up for themselves and fought for what they were owed."

"These are frontline workers facing harassment and abuse from customers daily," she added. "The least they deserved is fair pay."

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