BA cabin crew vote 9:1 for Christmas strikes

British Airways (BA) cabin crew have voted nine-to-one in favour of a strike, with reports stating that a 12-day strike could begin next Tuesday and last throughout Christmas and New Year.

Unite union said that 80% of its cabin crew members turned out to vote on the proposal for industrial action at the airline, in response to the dispute over pay and staffing numbers.

The action will see 12,500 cabin crew walk out between 22 December and 2 January, according to the Guardian, which will ground Heathrow airport’s largest carrier and provide enormous disruption for Christmas holiday makers.

A 12-day walkout will cost the airline around £300m, according to analysts.

The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (Bassa), a section of Unite, said: “We are deeply saddened to have reached the point where we must take industrial action to get our voices heard, but feel that we have been left with no other choice.”

This year BA announced plans cut the equivalent of 1,700 jobs, change working practices and impose a two-year pay freeze for basic cabin crew without seeking union agreement.

Hours before the meeting, BA announced that the deficits in its two pension schemes had grown from £2.1bn in 2006 to £3.4bn, an increase of 76%.

Earlier this year the airline announced its worst ever pre-tax loss of £401m, double what many experts had predicted.

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