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Published on Thursday, September 5, 2019

BA rejects last-ditch proposal from BALPA


British Airways has rejected a last-ditch proposal from BALPA to end a dispute with pilots.

It means that strikes will go ahead on September 9 and 10 and possibly also September 27.

BA said it continues to be available for 'constructive talks' with BALPA but only on the basis that 'there are no pre-conditions to those talks'.

BALPA had put forward a new proposal to BA CEO Alex Cruz in a last-minute attempt to avert strike action by pilots.

It said the proposals showed the pilots were willing to be flexible but still stand united in getting a better deal.

What you should know:
BA is offering all affected customers full refunds or the option to re-book to another date.

BA said it is working with partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft to take the maximum number of customers.

It is advising passengers due to fly on September 27 to ensure their contact details are kept up to date in case they need to be contacted.

Click here for more information.

What BA says:
"We remain open to constructive talks with BALPA to resolve the pay negotiations, but we do not believe the union is acting in good faith by making an eleventh hour inflated proposal which would cost an additional £50 million.

"We, at BA, have acted with integrity through many months of negotiations. We and the union's leaders agreed and shook on a deal on Monday 12 August only for the union to back track on that agreement and return with new and unrealistic demands.

"BALPA has cynically waited until we have helped the vast majority of customers with alternative travel arrangements, and our planning for a strike has reached a critical stage. Our customers need the certainty that BALPA will call off the strikes for good, not just for two days next week."

What BALPA says:
"BA's suggestion that our new proposal costs an extra £50 million is laughable, the actual cost is less than £5 million more than BA offered. One day of strike will cost the airline £40 million yet they seem happy to spend money on covering strike action rather than their pilots.

"BALPA has not cynically waited as BA claims. At his request, I met with the CEO last Thursday and met the BA lead negotiator the previous Thursday, both without any progress or any proposals from BA. So yesterday we made a last ditch effort and have had no response at all - rather than talking to us directly they have decided to respond via the media.

"The plain conclusion is that it is BA that is deliberately forcing the strikes to go ahead. This is consistent with the bullying treatment they are currently inflicting on pilots."

What the Mole says:
Tweets are already flooding in from disgruntled BA customers confused and frustrated with the cancellation and refund process. Some customers are complaining they are being told conflicting information about whether or not their flights are cancelled. At the same time, there doesn't seem to be much sympathy for the pilots.

What this does to BA's reputation remains to be seen. Interestingly, a survey by consumer intelligence platform Toluna shows that after a brief annoyance, customers forget about the inconvenience very quickly. Its survey found that more than half of UK respondents feel BA has handled the strike as best as possible and 88% said they'd likely fly with BA again. 



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