British Airways faces the possibility of more strike action and flight disruption as trade union Unite announced this morning that a new ballot to strike would go ahead.
The two sides have been butting heads for months now, but neither seems willing to back down over staff pay issues and possible redundancies.
British Airways are adamant that if the airline is to survive then difficult decisions have to be made, including making cut-backs. Unite are adamant that loyal staff should not be made redundant.
The staff ballot could take up to a month to organise, and Unite will need to scrutinise proceedings meticulously in order to avoid another embarrassment such as the one suffered in December when BA won an injunction on the planned Christmas strike. The strike was halted because Unite had included members in its ballot who had already agreed to accept voluntary redundancy, making the ballot void.
This time around, 13,000 cabin crew could walk out on BA disrupting thousands of holidays and business trips in March.
Assistant general secretary of Unite Len McCluskey told The Guardian: “We have been engaged in intensive discussion with the company over the last few days, but unfortunately we have not been able to secure an agreement yet.”
Mr McCluskey hoped BA would make the most of the time available whilst the ballot was being organised before they risked damaging their reputation in the aviation industry. Whilst damage limitation has been successful in avoiding a Christmas washout, and the busy half-term school holidays in February seems safe, BA still risks much by not reaching an amicable solution.