Unite union announced today its 12,500 BA cabin crew members have voted in favour of a 12-day strike over the busy Christmas and New Year period. Industrial action is scheduled to commence on 22 December and end on 2 January. The Guardian says over 1 million passengers will be affected.
The announcement drew a stinging response from the airline:
"British Airways is extremely disappointed that Unite is planning massive disruption for hundreds of thousands of our customers over the Christmas/New Year holiday period.
"A 12-day strike would be completely unjustified and a huge over-reaction to the modest changes we have announced for cabin crew which are intended to help us recover from record financial losses.
"Unite's cynical decision betrays a total lack of concern for our customers, our business and other employees within British Airways."
The Guardian reports BA was already on course to lose £600 million this year and the 12-day strike action could cost the airline another £300 million.
As previously reported, 1,700 BA cabin crew are at risk of redundancy and Unite say those who remain face extended working hours and new starters brought in at "bargain basement wages."
BA insists the changes are necessary, however, to ensure the airline's "long-term survival." It also claims BA cabin crew costs are double those of rival Virgin Atlantic.
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