Socialist Worker

Pilots’ strike cancels flights

Issue No. 2671

British airways pilots have been on strike

British airways pilots have been on strike (Pic: BriYYZ/Fickr creative commons)


A 48-hour strike by thousands of British Airways (BA) pilots was hugely effective on Monday and Tuesday. The firm said it had cancelled “nearly 100 percent” of its flights—BA normally operates up to 850 flights a day.

Around 93 percent of pilots voted for strikes industrial action on a 90 percent turnout.

Bosses had threatened to strip strikers and their families of perks such as heavily subsidised travel for three years.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots’ union Balpa, said the union would challenge the measure in the courts.

Pilots are well paid, but together with other workers they produce big profits for the firm and management.

Alex Cruz, the firm’s chief executive, is paid £1.3 million. In August BA’s parent firm, IAG, reported a 20 percent rise in its pre-tax second-quarter profit.

One pilot said, “It’s not really about money, it’s about respect. We’ve effectively been lied to.

“We’ve given up a serious pension scheme, and pay rises when the company was weak—all on the promise that when the company was strong, we would benefit.”


Balpa has announced further strikes by Ryanair pilots beginning with a 48-hour strike from Wednesday next week.

It will be followed by strikes on 21, 23,25, 27 and 29 September.

The union wants to address issues such as pensions, loss of licence insurance, maternity benefits, and harmonisation of pay across Britain.


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