(CMR) British Airways' services could be disrupted this summer after check-in and ground staff at Heathrow voted to hold a ballot on taking industrial action in a salary dispute.
According to Business Travel News Europe, the GMB and Unite unions, which represent hundreds of the workers at Heathrow, said a formal strike ballot would “begin shortly,” and any industrial action would take place during the busy summer holiday period.
Employees are reportedly “furious because a 10 percent pay cut imposed on them during the pandemic has not been reinstated”.
Nadine Houghton, GMB’s national officer, said: “BA forced our members into pay cuts during the pandemic, when they had little workplace power to fight back. Now our members are back at work and staff shortages are hammering the company – it is their time to claim back what is theirs.”
Sharon Graham, Unite's general secretary, said the airline has had every opportunity to resolve this dispute through negotiations, but it has failed to do so.
“Our members are left with no choice but to vote for strike action this summer,” Graham added.
The staff involved in the dispute work for the airline in customer-facing roles within the airport's terminals.
A British Airways spokesperson said in a statement: “While this is not a strike ballot, it is a disappointing response from this small group, considering our genuine offer of a 10 percent reward this year ahead of planned pay talks.”
“Our colleagues are the heart of our business, and we are continuing to talk with their union representatives,” the spokesperson said.