Europe

Unite reveals membership surge ahead of British Airways strike

British Airways A320
Tis Meyer / Planepics.org

Britain’s largest union, Unite, revealed today that over 800 cabin crew from British Airways’ ‘mixed fleet’ had joined Unite since the start of the dispute over poverty pay, taking the union’s membership to over 2,900.

The surge in membership comes ahead of tomorrow’s start of a 48-hour strike by British Airways ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew over poverty pay levels at the UK’s national carrier.

Operating out of Heathrow on both short and long haul flights, striking members of ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew will be rallying from 07:00 at Unite’s Heathrow offices.

Commenting Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said:

“More and more ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew have joined Unite as this dispute over poverty pay has gone on.

“Increasingly tired of delivering a first class service for poverty pay, ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew are at breaking point over pay levels which are forcing many of them to take a second job or turn up to work unfit to fly.

“Despite British Airways walking away from meaningful talks, we would urge it to listen to its ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew who work tirelessly to serve passengers and contribute massively to the success of the airline.

“With the parent company of British Airways forecasting annual profits in the region of £2.3 billion, it’s clear that the UK’s national carrier can pay the people who keep us safe while we fly a decent wage.”

Since 2010 all British Airways new cabin crew employees join what is called ‘mixed fleet’, where despite promises that pay would be 10 percent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just £12,192 with £3 an hour flying pay. Unite estimates that on average ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew earn £16,000, including allowances, a year.

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