Brits have been warned to prepare for more holiday hell after British Airways employees at Heathrow voted to strike this summer.
BA check-in and ground staff belonging to GMB and Unite unions will walk in a row over pay, it has been announced.
The move will crack down on families desperate for a hard-earned break after weeks of plight and chaos at airports across the country.
95 percent of those who voted today were in favor of action, and activists had already turned off the equipment before July 8.
About 700 employees are now expected to leave, with strikers working for Ryanair and EasyJet.
It comes as the GMB seeks to reverse a 10 percent cut in workers’ wages imposed during the pandemic.
BA says it has offered a 10 percent one-time bonus, but not a return on the same pay as before — and union bosses say the “lump sum” fee isn’t enough.
Instead, they are demanding full salary reimbursement.
GMB representative Nadine Houghton exploded: “With dire predictions, British Airways’ pig-heads face massive disruption to holidays.
“BA has tried to offer our members pieces off the table as a 10 percent one-time bonus payment, but that doesn’t cut the mustard.
“Our members need to restore 10 per cent of the amount stolen from them last year with full salary and 10 per cent bonus which has been paid to other associates.
“GMB members at Heathrow have faced untold abuse as they deal with travel chaos caused by staff shortages and IT failures.
“At the same time, he has cut his salary during BA’s harsh fire and re-hiring policy.
“What did BA think was going to happen?”
She said it is “not too late to save for the summer holidays” as other workers have reversed pay cuts.
It’s Not Too Late to Save the Summer Vacation—This Industrial Action May Be Bubbling
“Do the same for ground and check-in staff, and this industrial action could be eliminated early on,” she warned.
A spokesman for BA said the airline was “extremely disappointed”, although efforts were made to reassure customers that the strike would include one of two from a Heathrow-based team in customer-facing roles.
“We are fully committed to dialogue with our trade unions about their concerns,” he said.
“We hope that together we can find a way to reach an agreement in the best interest of our people and our customers.”
The summer walk-out is the latest setback amid days of strike chaos, as Britain’s railways come to a halt again today.
And it could be even worse, as there are fears that militant unions are already devising plans for a second wave of strikes in just two weeks.
Talks between Hardline RMT and Network Rail to avert today’s walkout broke down in acrimony last night.
In airports across the country, travelers are already feeling the strain of a widespread staffing crisis.
Last-minute flight cancellations, huge queues and lost luggage have left passengers devastated as airports struggle to cope.
EasyJet airline reportedly plans to shut down around 10,000 more flights.
The cancellations – which are likely to include flights to holiday hotspots such as Greece and Spain – will take place during July, August and September.
It has already canceled seven per cent of the 16,000 trips that run between July and September.
Earlier this week more than 15,000 passengers were left midway after Heathrow Airport canceled 10 percent of its air travel.
It comes like this:
Photos taken at airports up and down the country have shown holidaymakers sprawled across the floor with bags in the carnage of travel.
And industry leaders said the summer is unlikely to get any better.
Asked if things would improve, Oliver Richardson, Unite National Officer for Civil Air Transport, said: “Unless we work together, no.”
This was echoed by Swissport Managing Director Judd Winstanley with Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airline Operators Association.
Mr Richardson said there was a “correlation” between airlines that took major job cuts during the pandemic and canceled the most flights right now.
British Airways laid off about 10,000 employees, followed by EasyJet laying off 2,000.
Both the airlines have seen the maximum number of cancellations.