British Airways Loses Legal Bid to Halt Pilot Strike
British Airways’ bid to stop a potential August strike by its pilots hit a legal speed bump with a UK court turning down the airline's injunction to prevent it.
British Airways sought the injunction to stop pilots, represented by the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) union, striking next month after a ballot of members.
The result of the ballot was 93 percent approval for strike action on a 90 percent participation rate, but BA maintained the vote was not conducted correctly and should not be allowed. The UK High Court ruling disagreed and the result of the ballot should stand.
British Airways said it was disappointed by the court’s decision and will pursue “every avenue” to protect its customers. It reiterated that it remains open to working with the pilot union to reach agreement.
“Our proposed pay offer of 11.5 percent over three years is fair, and the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 percent of British Airways staff, have already recommended this offer to their members,” the airline said in a statement.
BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton welcomed the court ruling: “While we’re pleased with the judge’s decision, we’re frustrated that time has been wasted. BA could have spent this time coming back to the negotiating table instead of trying - and failing - to tie us up in legal knots.
“This delay will now continue with BA seeking to appeal against the High Court’s decision… We ask that BA thinks hard about why 93 percent of our members feel so strongly about taking strike action.”
BALPA said it has not set any strike dates to give the airline “one last chance” to commit to negotiating on pilot pay and rewards at a meeting later this week.