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BA To Get Strike Coverage from Qatar Airways


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BA to get strike cover from Qatar Airways

The government says it will allow the lease by British Airways of some Qatar Airways planes and crew to help cover a 16-day strike by some UK staff.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says BA can lease nine Qatar A320 and 321 planes and crew after advice from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

BA will use the staffed planes to minimise flight cancellations and passenger disruption from Saturday.

The 16-day strike was prompted by what Unite union calls BA's "poverty pay".

The long-running industrial action concerns around 2,000 of the airline's mixed-fleet staff who, if they joined since 2010, fly short and long-haul routes mainly from Heathrow airport and earn less than cabin crew on earlier agreements.

The airline has already cancelled a small number of flights from Heathrow and merged others, but the leasing deal with Qatar means BA will be able to get the vast majority of passengers to their destinations.

A spokeswoman for the carrier said: "We will operate 99.5% of our schedule. Our Oneworld partner, Qatar Airways, will be operating a small number of short-haul flights on our behalf."

"We have merged a very small number of Heathrow long-haul services and all customers affected have been notified over the past week."


The airline needed to apply for approval from Mr Grayling and the CAA had to make a recommendation to the minister because the Qatari aircraft and crew are coming in from outside the European Union.

A spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: "An application by British Airways to temporarily 'wet lease' [hiring plane and crew] nine Qatar-registered aircraft has today been approved by the UK Department for Transport."

Unite had requested the CAA recommend blocking the wet-lease deal, claiming it broke EU regulations and cited concerns over Qatar's human rights and labour standards record.

The union brought about the unprecedented strike action because of a pay dispute and it claimed the airlines had removed concessions and perks for staff if they had taken part in previous strike action.

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: "Vindictive threats from British Airways amount to corporate bullying from an airline more interested in punishing workers on poverty pay than addressing why cabin crew have been striking."

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4 hours ago, Rich Pulman said:

Except CEOs. Too bad their motto "we have to pay top dollar to attract/retain talent" doesn't seem to apply to anyone else. :(

But we should never forget the organized employees who allowed a 2 level wages system to be established in exchange for not loosing more themselves rather than rolling the dice and saying Hell No! 

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6 hours ago, internet said:

Then be the CEO

If the CEO is so valuable, then why did he need to call in reinforcements from Qatar? He should be able to cover the work himself, since he's so all knowing and all seeing.


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BOD's generally reward their CEO for being a tough souless a-hole when it comes to dealing with labour, which is expected, but it's the lack of a common purpose and cohesion across the labour spectrum today that I find most unfortunate.




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British Airways Rides Out 16-Day Cabin Strike With Qatar Planes

‎July‎ ‎3‎, ‎2017‎ ‎3‎:‎48‎ ‎AM
British Airways is riding out a 16-day walkout by London Heathrow-based cabin crews with the help of planes from top shareholderQatar Airways Ltd.
The most important business stories of the day.

Aircraft from its Persian Gulf partner have been deployed on British Airways’ short-haul routes, allowing the U.K. carrier to operate almost all flights as normal on Monday, the first working day since the strike began Saturday. Long-haul services from Heathrow airport have been combined to avoid cancellations, the airline said by email. All customers will reach their destinations, with just four flights scrapped over the weekend, it said.

The work stoppage is the culmination of a wage dispute that started in January. The dispute so far has resulted in 26 days of walkouts, according to the Unite union, which said BA has punished participating employees by scrapping certain benefits. The strike is resuming five weeks after a high-profile computer-system failure grounded flights for 75,000 British Airways passengers.


State-owned Qatar Airways, which holds about 20 percent of IAG, is operating flights for British Airways with nine single-aisleAirbus SE A320 and A321 aircraft. The Qatari carrier said last month that excess jets from canceled Middle Eastern services are being redeployed to other destinations, including Iran, following a ban on its flights by four Arab countries amid a political conflict. The airline said it was “successfully mitigating” the effect of losing access to 18 regional destinations.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hardly an unique problem......  I imagine there a a number of people based in YVR as but one example that are forced to commute due to the high cost of living  / renting there.

British Airways cabin crew claim they are 'forced' to live in Manchester and commute to London due to low wages

  • 10:08, 26 JUL 2017
  • Updated11:28, 26 JUL 2017

British Airways cabin crew striking over pay are claiming they are ‘forced’ to live in Manchester and commute to London due to low wages.

Today (Tues), a large group of protesters moved their action from Heathrow to Manchester’s T3.

Although the airline insist they are operating a ‘normal service’ for passengers flying from Manchester to London City and London Heathrow, Unite reps insist there has been disruption during a total of 46 days of action since January.

There are also another 14 days planned for August - during peak summer holiday time.

But staff say they have no other choice - amid claims around 200 cabin crew are living in Manchester because they can’t afford to rent in London.

They claim this has been compounded by BA removing their travel concessions in recent weeks, forcing them to make the commute by car.

One cabin crew member earning £17,000 who lives in Manchester and commutes to London said: “I struggle with commuting costs. I usually fly to Manchester but now I have to drive because BA’s withdrawn access to staff travel. I’ve spent the night in my car at Heathrow before now because I can’t afford a hotel. It would be much easier for me to live in London but I just don’t earn enough. And there many staff who are in my position.”

The pay dispute is over the lower wages of staff hired since 2010. Some claim to earn less than £18,000 a year - although BA insists they earn at least £21,000 when allowances and bonuses are taken into account.

The chairman of Mixed Fleet at Unite, who asked not to be named, said he earns £21,171 a year as senior cabin crew and lives in a flat-share with five others.

He added: “People are getting into debt working for the country’s flag-bearer, while it makes record-breaking profits. People are struggling to the point the only thing to do is industrial action.”

Since strike action began in January the dispute has escalated with Unite claiming BA has imposed ‘sanctions’ - cuts to travel concessions and bonuses - on the 1,400 cabin crew who took part.

A BA spokesman said: “As during Unite’s previous industrial action, we will ensure all our customers reach their destinations. Instead of calling further completely unnecessary strikes, Unite should allow its members a vote on the pay deal we reached two months ago.”

He added: “We are operating a normal schedule at Gatwick and London City airports as well as the vast majority of our Heathrow schedule. A very small number of Heathrow services have been merged, and all affected customers are being contacted in advance and will be rebooked to alternative flights.”

He said Qatar Airways would cover a number of short-haul services and urged passengers to check their flight status on www.ba.com .

If the strike affects me can I claim compensation?

Passengers affected will not to be entitled to compensation as EU regulations state the airline is not directly responsible for disruption caused.

However, if you are stranded abroad, the airline must pay for the cost of a hotel and food until a replacement flight is found.

If they don’t offer this, keep your receipts and make a claim. If you are travelling with a tour operator it’s up to them to get you home.

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  • 3 months later...

British Airways mixed fleet crew ends dispute with airline

by Phil Davies Oct 31st 2017, 17:06
British Airways mixed fleet crew ends dispute with airline

British Airways’ mixed fleet cabin crew have ended a long-running row with the airline.

They overwhelmingly voted to accept a pay deal that brings the dispute to an end, the Unite union announced.

A total of 84% backed the deal which was agreed in talks between BA and Unite.

Mixed fleet cabin crew are set to see pay rises of at least £1,404 to £2,908 by March 2018 depending on experience and subject to inflation, as a result of the deal.

The dispute saw cabin crew operating on long and short haul flights out of Heathrow take 85 days of industrial action earlier in the year.

The deal sees travel concessions and entitlements to fully participate in the airline’s 2017 bonus scheme returned to cabin crew who took industrial action, in addition to guarantees that deductions will not be made to any applicable bonuses.

Acceptance of the deal will see settlement in full for Unite’s legal action that it was pursuing on behalf of mixed fleet crew who had been sanctioned for taking industrial action by BA, according to the union.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “A great deal of credit should go to Unite members and their shop stewards in British Airways’ mixed fleet for their determination and solidarity in securing this settlement.

“Through thick and thin Unite members stuck together to secure a decent pay rise and a just resolution to this long running dispute.

“Not only does this pay deal start to seriously address long standing concerns on low pay in British Airways’ mixed fleet, but it also shows that it pays to be a member of a union and of Unite.

“Unite looks forward to continuing to work with British Airways in representing our members and ensuring the airline goes from strength to strength in these uncertain times.”

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