Published on Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Striking BA crew call on M&S to pressure airline to 'end poverty wages'

British Airways' cabin crew will today hand a letter to Marks & Spencer calling on the retailer to demand BA stops paying 'poverty wages' to sell its food on their flights.

The call comes on the second day of a 48-hour strike by 2,900 members of BA's mixed-fleet crew and coincided with the roll-out today of the new M&S food range on BA's short-haul flights.

The crew's trade union Unite claims BA staff are paid a basic starting salary of up to £6,000 less than customer assistants will get in M&S Greater London stores from April this year, when their pay rises to above the London living wage.

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: "M&S needs to ask itself whether it's comfortable with this injustice and British Airways' pitiful pay rates which have seen hundreds of 'mixed fleet' cabin crew stay away from work and mount picket lines in their fight for fair pay.

"The pennies 'mixed fleet' cabin crew are paid mean they will struggle to afford the M&S sandwiches they sell. We would urge M&S to do the right thing and tell British Airways to follow its lead and pay 'mixed fleet' cabin crew a fair and proper living wage.

"British Airways need to wake up to the anger and the strength of feeling its confrontational stance on pay has generated and talk meaningfully with Unite our concerns."

BA has been forced to cancel some short-haul flights to and from Heathrow over the past couple of days due to the cabin crew strike, but it has promised all customers will reach their destinations.

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