British Airways latest - legal action, staff cheer, BMI sneer
Something smells fishy according to British Airways, and it's not the cod in white wine sauce on the Economy menu. With 12 days of scheduled flights in peril after members of union UNITE decided to strike over pay freezes and redundancies, the airline is attempting to prevent the action going ahead by serving papers on the union. The reason? BA are citing "irregularities" in the initial strike ballot:
We are commencing legal action in an attempt to protect customers from the massive stress and disruption threatened by Unite’s decision to call a 12-day strike from December 22.
We have today written to Unite, highlighting irregularities in the union’s strike ballot, which we believe renders the ballot invalid.
The airline called on Unite to call off the industrial action by 2pm today, 15 December 2009. The union has not done so and British Airways is now seeking an injunction to prevent the strike going ahead.
Today’s letter was the third sent to Unite, pointing out the balloting flaws, since last Friday. The union did not reply to the first two letters.
BA say they're attempting to determine which staff will work through the strike if it goes ahead. If you're booked for a flight due to depart on a date that may be affected by strike action or 48 hours either side, you can find out more about your options on the BA website.
By the way, if you're wondering how a group of several thousand employees react when presented with the opportunity to ruin the Christmas plans of millions, this video was anonymously posted on YouTube today - it was shot during the union meeting when the ballot figures were announced (that moment of crushing realisation for BA staff occurs at 1' 05"):
Finally, there's always somebody who spots an opportunity at in a time of crisis: