British Airways Loses Pilot Strike Appeal
A possible strike of British Airways pilots this month is one step closer after a court rejected an appeal by the airline to stop the industrial action.
BA pilots, represented by the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), voted last month to strike, in a dispute over pay and other remuneration.
British Airways then sought an injunction late last month to stop the pilots striking, but a High Court ruling rejected it.
The airline appealed the ruling on the basis that the union vote had not been carried out correctly and had failed to provide a list of the categories of employees who had been balloted.
BA argued that BALPA’s failure to specify whether the pilots were in long- or short-haul fleets meant that the ballot could not be relied on.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
“The Court of Appeal has today rightly dismissed BA’s attempt to injunct this industrial action on a technicality,” BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton, said in response to the decision. “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.”
An airline statement said it had been working with the union to reach an agreement, but “Unfortunately, this afternoon, our legal challenge to protect our customers against industrial action this summer was unsuccessful.”
BA said it will continue to exhaust every possible means to avoid a strike and urged BALPA to return to talks as soon as possible. With no strike dates scheduled, it will continue to operate a full flight schedule.
BALPA's Strutton said the union wants to resolve the dispute through negotiation and would not yet announce strike dates. He called on BA to hold further talks for “one last try” for a negotiated resolution.
“We are not announcing strike dates today. In any event we are required by law to provide BA with 14 days’ notice of any proposed strike action.”