The Court of Appeal has rejected a second attempt by British Airways to gain an injunction against a proposed strike by pilots.
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said the decision ‘affirms’ the legality of a ballot in which BA’s pilots voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.
BA had earlier tried to legally stop the industrial action in the High Court, but the judge ruled against the airline. Losing the appeal means BALPA will now consider a schedule for a walk-out.
BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton commented: “BA’s attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution. Now the window for renegotiation and compromise is closing fast.”
Strutton said the airline needs to “wake up to reality” after 93 per cent of pilots who returned a ballot voted in favour of a strike. He claimed BA’s own numbers show each day of strike action could cost more than the union believes it would take to settle the dispute.
He continued: “However, BALPA wants to resolve this matter through negotiation and so we are not announcing strike dates. Instead, we have called on BA to hold further talks at ACAS and they have agreed to meet at ACAs today and for the rest of the week for one last try to resolve this dispute by negotiation.
“We have spent four days in talks at ACAS already, and BA refused to move their position one iota. But we hope they now recognise the seriousness of the situation and will work positively with us to find a way forward.”
The union said that by law it has to provide the carrier with at least 14 days’ notice of any proposed action.
In a statement, BA said that no strike dates had been announced it planned to continue running a full schedule until further notice. “We understand how precious your summer holidays are and we are very sorry BALPA has called this strike action. We will continue to exhaust every possible means to avoid it and we urge BALPA to return to talks as soon as possible.”
BA said flights on BA CityFlyer to and from London City airport will be unaffected by any strikes.
Passengers are encouraged to continue checking with the airline for updates as further information becomes available. Those who have entered their contact details with their booking will be notified of any potential changes to their flight if they occur.