November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Pilot union Balpa has confirmed that its British Airways (BA) members will not strike during the Easter weekend (21 to 24 March).
”Our row is not with the travelling public who will have worked hard for their Easter break,” said Balpa general secretary Jim McAuslan.
Talks broke down yesterday between the union and BA, but Balpa refrained from naming a strike date ” despite intending to - after the airline warned it would apply for a court injunction if it did.
Balpa says BA is asserting that it has a fundamental right under Article 43 of the EC Treaty to establish operations in another EU Member State (the subsidiary OpenSkies will operate from Paris and Brussels to New York).
But the union is now seeking a Declaration from the Court as to whether Article 43 does apply in this case, and whether it may rely on its strike ballot ” in which 86% of pilots voted for industrial action ” to avoid a claim for unlimited damages.
McAuslan added, ”British Airways should be at the negotiating table and not using European legislation designed to ensure free competition between companies and not to restrict the freedoms of Trade Unions in industrial disputes. We have sought to place this matter before the courts ourselves in order to resolve the question as quickly as possible.
”This is an unprecedented move by a union and demonstrates the responsible way in which Balpa has approached this. Despite our willingness to accept the cost base proposed by BA for OpenSkies, the company has not been prepared to provide the employment security and career development opportunities which are at the heart of the dispute.
”Our pilots are fighting for their futures and the wellbeing of their families.”