Unite says cabin crews will walk off the job in four individual five-day strikes in May and June.
The strikes will start on May 18 and be followed by subsequent strikes on May 24, May 30 and June 5.
The strikes come after Unite rejected an offer by British Airways last week. Though the union described the offer as an improvement over previous proposals, the offer did not restore travel perks to the estimated 5,000 employees that chose to strike in March.
The proposal also did not reinstate the position of cabin crew members who were fired or suspended because of the dispute.
With only a day between the strikes and the stoppages encompassing a profitable half-term holiday, the airline stands to lose around $150 million.
Strikes couldn’t come at a worst time for British Airways. The beleaguered airline lost an estimated $67 million from Unite’s seven-day strike in March. The airline also lost an estimated $150 million because of a volcano ash cloud that shut down British airspace for six days.
The 20-day strike will be most felt at Heathrow Airport where British Airways operates around 550 inbound and outbound flights daily. The airport also accounts for 80.000 daily British Airways passengers.
Less impact will be felt at London’s Gatwick and City airports. British Airways says that both airports will operate normally during rounds of five-day strikes.
Unite is giving British Airways a seven-day notice to reopen “meaningful negotiations” before strikes begin on Tuesday.
The union and the airline have been fighting for about year over pay and working conditions. The long-running and often hostile dispute started when British Airways tried to cut costs by reducing the staff levels on every flight by at least one crew member.
Learn more: British Airways’ London City Airport Review.
In addition to the March walkouts, Unite also attempted a 12-day holiday walkout in December of 2009. British Airways was narrowly saved from that costly strike by a Christmas-time court injunction.
This time the airline may not be so lucky.
By Adriana Padilla for PeterGreenberg.com.
Related links on PeterGreenberg.com:
- British Airways Crews Strike: More European Airline Strikes to Follow?
- No Strike: Court Rules in Favor of British Airways
- British Airways Strike Update: Sparring Sides Agree to Meet
- British Airways Crew Threatens Strike for 12 Days of Christmas
- Lufthansa Strike Suspended: Airline Pilots Agree to Resume Talks
- London’s Airport Mess: Plans, Problems, Solutions
- British Isles Complete Travel Section