Strike vote 'regrettable' says BA chief

The travel plans of British Airways customers could be disrupted “unnecessarily” because of a threatened New Year strike by cabin crew, the airline’s chairman has warned.

The travel plans of British Airways customers could be disrupted “unnecessarily” because of a threatened New Year strike by cabin crew, the airline’s chairman has warned.

Martin Broughton said the prospect of industrial action at the end of January in a row over working practices, weighed “heavily” in the traditional season of goodwill.

Writing in the latest edition of BA’s staff newspaper, Mr Broughton said a ballot of cabin crew had the potential to cast a shadow over the festive season.

“In light of the agreements reached on fundamental changes to working practices with other groups of staff this year, it is regrettable.”

Mr Broughton said the dispute was in “stark contrast” to the way unions had worked with BA to tackle the firm’s £2.1bn (€3.1bn) pensions deficit, which was close to reaching agreement.

The Transport and General Workers Union is balloting 11,000 of its cabin crew members after claiming there had been a “serious breakdown” in industrial relations.

The result is expected in mid-January.

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