BA loses legal action against pilot strikes
British Airways is to appeal against a High Court decision not to grant an injunction against strikes by pilots.
The airline said yesterday that it was “very disappointed” with the outcome and planned to keep working to avert industrial action, which could threaten the travel plans of thousands of passengers.
The British Airline Pilots Association, whose members voted more than nine to one for strikes in a long-running dispute over pay, said the time used to present a legal challenge could have been spent negotiating instead.
A spokeswoman for British Airways Bermuda said yesterday: “British Airways is very disappointed at today’s court decision to not be granted an injunction against strikes.
“This decision is being appealed by the airline.
“The pilots’ union, Balpa, has agreed that they won’t issue strike dates until the appeal has been made, which will be later this week or next week.
“British Airways will continue to pursue every avenue to protect the travel of thousands of customers this summer.
“The airline remains open to working with Balpa to reach agreement, which they have been doing since December.
“There is no confirmation of disruption at this stage.”
Balpa said that the judge had found the union had issued its ballot correctly, so the result could stand.
Brian Strutton, the general secretary, said: “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 Hight Court’s decision.”
He said it meant that talks scheduled with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service for Friday were now likely to be postponed.
Mr Strutton added: “We ask that BA thinks hard about why 93 per cent of our members feel so strongly about taking strike action.
“The company itself has admitted that even one day of strike action would cost more than what our pilots are asking for, so the ball really is in their court here, to look after their pilots and ensure the hard-working public get to continue their holidays as planned.
“We have still not set any strike dates to give BA one last chance to commit to negotiating on pilots’ pay and rewards with us at Acas later this week.”
BA said earlier that a proposed pay deal of 11.5 per cent over three years was fair and other trade unions, which represented nearly 90 per cent of employees, had already recommended the offer to their members.
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