BA Strike to Go Ahead at Midnight

BA Strike to Go Ahead at Midnight

A strike by British Airways cabin crew, which threatens to disrupt cargo operations, will go ahead after last minute negotiations between the airline and union officials collapsed March 19.

The three day-stoppage by over 12,000 cabin crew will begin at midnight with a four-day walkout scheduled for March 27.

"BA does not want to negotiate and ultimately wants to go to war with this union," said Tony Woodley, joint head of the Unite union.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said the strike was "deeply regrettable.”

BA World Cargo will be affected by the action as it flies a significant portion of its freight in the bellies of the airline's passenger aircraft.

The impact on cargo is likely to be limited, however, as BA claims it will fly 65 percent of scheduled flights during the first strike.

BA said it will operate more than 60 percent of long haul flights from London Heathrow airport, its cargo and passenger hub, and all long haul flights from London Gatwick.

The airline has also chartered 23 fully crewed planes from eight rival carriers and trained over 1,000 workers to work as cabin crew during the strikes.

The union called the strikes after BA announced changes in working conditions aimed at cutting costs by $95 million a year.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.