‘Heathrow Grounded’, British Airways check-in crew and ground staff walk-out

Impact of big Railway Unions strike in London and 'BA hiring-Rehiring' innovations

London: Hundreds of workers of British Airways working at Heathrow have decided to go on strike in a dispute over pay, the GMB and Unite unions have announced, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
The strike by BA workers comes as millions of workers have been forced to work-from-home this week after RMT union barons plunged Britain into the biggest rail strike in 30 years.
The GMB and Unite unions balloted about 700 workers employed by BA on industrial action. About half of the workers are represented by the GMB, and 95 per cent of those who voted said they were prepared to strike on a turnout of more than 80 per cent. Strike dates will be confirmed in the coming days, but they are likely to be during the school holidays. The Unite ballot closes on Monday.
The dispute stems from BA using “fire and rehire” practices to cut workers’ pay during the pandemic when they could not fight back, the GMB union said. Only 20 per cent of trains were operating on Thursday after two days of disruptions, delays and cancellations affecting 13 mainline operators and London Underground network, creating lockdown-like scenes of empty rail stations in the capital on Tuesday.
Members taking part in the GMB ballot began voting on June 7 for possible strike action later this year. The ballot closes later today, with results also expected to be announced today. The union is expected to vote in favour of the strike. Meanwhile the Unite ballot, which also began on June 7, is set to close on Monday.
BA say they have offered staff a 10 per cent ‘payment’. But union chiefs say the offer is a ‘one-off’ and its members want the full salary returned.
It comes amid the continuing chaos which has gripped the airline sector since March – and this week’s strikes by the RMT which have crippled the country’s railways and impacted on journeys to and from the UK’s airports.
Meanwhile, huge snaking queues have been seen at Manchester Airport and at Heathrow again on Thursday. And a huge ‘carpet’ of luggage has built up outside Heathrow Terminal 2 following a ‘technical glitch’ last Friday. Today some travellers took to social media to claim that they had not been reunited with their luggage in ‘seven days’.
The chaos is due to many airlines or travel firms sacking off large numbers of staff during the pandemic, and then struggling to adequately recruit in time for the restart of international travel earlier this year. (UNI)


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