The union of the British Airways pilots said they have called off the strike scheduled for next Friday. The strike was scheduled for 27 September following action on 9 and 10 September.
The British Airways Pilots’ Association said the previous strikes had “demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots” and it “was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand”.
The pilots union said it hoped British Airline would negotiate seriously with a view to ending the long-running pay dispute. British Airways has already cancelled passengers’ flights for next week. About 1,700 services were cancelled in the strike action this month.
Balpa said it could still announce further strike dates if British Airways refused to hold meaningful new negotiations
The British Airways Pilots’ Association union has a mandate for strikes until January 2020, after more than 90% of its British Airline pilot members voted for industrial action in a ballot this summer.
The union’s general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA, the pilots have decided to take the responsible course.
“In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on 27 September
“BA passengers rightly expect BA and its pilots to resolve their issues without disruption and now is the time for cool heads and pragmatism to be brought to bear. I hope BA and its owner IAG show as much responsibility as the pilots.”
Pilots had asked for a profit share in pay talks. BA refused to budge on a three-year offer worth 11.9%. The company said the proposal would take senior pilots’ annual earnings to more than £200,000, including allowances, after three years.
However, the union said most pilots earned around half that sum and wanted more after accepting cuts to pay and conditions, including pensions, during lean years. BA recorded profits of more than £2bn in 2018.
A British Airline’s spokesperson said: “We have just received this news. We are considering the implications and we will give updates in due course.”
The airline has previously said it would be open to talks but without pre-conditions. It is unclear how much of its normal schedule the airline will operate next week, having rebooked or cancelled thousands of passengers’ flights already.
Culled from The Guardian | British Airways pilots call off second September strike