The British Airways pay dispute escalated today when thousands more workers including baggage handlers voted to strike, threatening travel chaos for tens of thousands of holidaymakers.
The Transport and General Workers Union announced that its members will stage a 24-hour walkout on August 27, bringing the prospect of huge disruption to the country’s leading airports.
The union said that 66% of its members working in BA’s check-in, sales, and administrative departments voted in favour of a strike while 84% of baggage handlers and other ground staff backed industrial action.
Brendan Gold, chief negotiator for TGWU, said the turnout in the ballot was over 60%, which showed how strongly workers felt about pay.
“Taking strike action is always a last resort but the consistent failure by BA to address the issues seriously has led to our people feeling they have no alternative.”
The union said the strike will hit Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow and will run from 4.30am on August 27.
Mr Gold said an offer by BA of an extra £1,000 (€1,482) linked to reductions in sickness absence was “a step in the right direction”, but he added: “BA need to recognise they have to deal with the pay issue before they tackle other complex issues.”
The GMB union, which represents check-in staff, has also called a 24-hour strike over the Bank Holiday weekend after its members voted last week for industrial action.