BA pilots will go on strike after airline loses appeal

Dinendra Haria/Zuma Press/PA Images

British Airways pilots will now go on strike after the company lost a second legal bid to stop industrial action going ahead.

Last week BA sought an injunction to prevent the strike, but it was overturned. It then appealed and the Court of Appeal also failed to grant the injunction.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) voted in favour of industrial action earlier this month after three days of negotiations failed to resolve the dispute, which focuses on pay.

The airline had approached the High Court to bring an injunction over a technicality, claiming that the ballot for strike action was invalid. However, the judge said the union had issued the ballot correctly and the result could stand, and the Court of Appeal judge agreed.

It’s now up to Balpa to name dates for a strike, which is likely to cause chaos for travellers if it falls in the busy month of August. The union is required by law to provide BA with 14 days’ notice of any proposed action.

BA offered the pilots a deal equivalent to a pay increase of 11.5% over three years, but the union argued that members deserved better as the company has made significant profits.

BA is owned by IAG, which reported a pre-tax profit in 2018 of £2.8bn, of which the airline contributed £1.96bn.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “The Court of Appeal has today rightly dismissed BA’s attempt to injunct this industrial action on a technicality.

“BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution. Now the window for negotiation and compromise is closing fast.”

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