Published on Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Union claims surge in membership due to BA's 'poverty pay'

A trade union claims it has seen a surge in membership from British Airways' cabin crew since the start of a dispute over pay, which has led to this morning's walk-out at Heathrow.

Unite said that more than 800 additional 'mixed fleet' crew have joined, taking its membership to over 2,900.

The union has called a 48-hour strike, starting today, after failing to reach a new pay deal for the crew, all of whom have joined the airline since 2010.

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."

The union claimed the crew had been promised they would be paid 10% above market rate, but in fact their basic salary starts at £12,192 with £3 an hour flying pay. Unite estimates they earn on average £16,000 a year, including allowances.

Meanwhile, BA has been forced to consolidate a number of flights at Heathrow today and tomorrow due to the strike, meaning some passengers will fly earlier or later than planned. However, it promised all passengers will reach their destinations.

The strike does not affect flights from Gatwick or London City.

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  • Poverty pay

    They may re-recruit but, like current crew, they too will find it impossible to live on the wage earned.

    By Steve Hutchinson, Sunday, January 15, 2017

  • First class service?

    I frequently fly BA on European routes. Regrettably my impression of cabin crew is not great in economy class. Most of the times times they look sluggish (particularly on early morning flights). Level of service is on the low side. In most cases they only serve some drinks and 20 grams bags of crisps. Elocution skills are not great too. When/If politely challenged they do not know how /what to respond. Number of times I have noticed dirty fingernails and unpolished shoes. On occasions certain cabin crew members have specific patronising manners when speaking or waking. All in all not a good impression. On the other hand more experienced crew members (Pursers etc...) display different characteristics. However they are "reserved" for business class passengers.

    By Jack Sosnierz, Tuesday, January 10, 2017

  • Poverty pay or not...

    ...I will guarantee that there will be scores of young ladies queuing up for every air hostess's job. The union needs to be careful or it will find that BA will simply recruit more hostesses from the ever-full pool of hopefuls.

    By Richard English, Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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