The preeminent airline of the United Kingdom, British Airways (BA), has suspended all flights from September 9 to 10 as the BA pilots’ association chose to strike over a contentious wage dispute.
“We understand the frustration and disruption BALPA’s strike action has caused you,” read a BA press release. “After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.”
The unprecedented strike action by the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) came as a surprise even to BA as they quickly issued updates on its website to passengers and adamantly placed the blame on the pilots’ association.
“Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 per cent our flights,” read the BA statement released on Monday.
BA pilots voted to strike back in July with a vote count of 93 percent in favor of industrial action, according to a BALPA announcement.
“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November – it is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months,” said Brian Strutton, the general secretary of the BALPA.
BA pilots have accused the BA administration of bullying tactics and unfair wage negotiations.
“Pilots, who took pay cuts in the years following the financial crisis to help shore up the company, say BA’s fat cat managers have failed time and again to listen to their staff and seem determined force pilots to take the strike action,” stated a release by association on Sunday.
The association put the blame squarely on the administration who they believed were offering pilots unfair wages and not negotiating in good faith.
“The company’s leaders, who themselves are paid huge salaries and have generous benefits packages, won’t listen, are refusing to negotiate and are putting profits before the needs of passengers and staff,” said Strutton.