BA cabin crew strike ballot likely to lead to Christmas strikes

British Airways (BA) is bracing itself for a Christmas strike by cabin crew after talks between unions and the airline broke down last week.

Unite union will this afternoon announce the result of a ballot of 12,500 members, called after a dispute about job changes and staffing levels could not be resolved. Several strike dates are expected to be announced, according to the Times, with the earliest one beginning on Monday 21 December.

It would be the first time since 1997 that BA cabin crew have refused to fly.

The airline has maintained that changes to pay and staffing numbers are essential since the airline posted a loss of £292m for the six months to the end of September.

BA faces the risk of industrial action after it cut the equivalent of 1,700 jobs, changed working practices and announced plans to impose a two-year pay freeze for basic cabin crew without seeking union agreement.

About 1,000 staff had asked to take voluntary redundancy and a further 3,000 opted to switch from full-time to part-time work; together equivalent to the loss of 1,700 full time jobs.

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