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British Airways strike ruled illegal: Customers spared xmas misery?

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17th Dec 2009
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BA passengers may have earned a reprieve as the cabin crew strike which was to cause travel chaos this Christmas has been ruled illegal.

The strike by British Airways cabin crew which was scheduled to take place for 12 days over Christmas has been declared illegal in a High Court ruling.

Agreeing with BA that the ballot on the strike action by the cabin crew's union, Unite, had not been correctly executed, the ruling means that the strike cannot now proceed.

British Airways passengers had been facing travel chaos this Christmas as BA cabin staff balloted in favour of striking over the busy holiday season. The strikes were set to take place between December 22 and January 2, with estimates suggesting that one million passengers would have ben impacted if all flights are grounded during the 12 day period.

The strike would have represented the first British Airways cabin crew walk out for over a decade, and was a result of unhappiness about the airline’s cost-cutting. Ironically, the crew, which represent around 13,500 of the total 40,000 BA staff, had voiced major concerns that these reductions would impact the airline’s customer service.
British Airways' management called the strike “suicidal,” acknowledging that the strike could cost the airline customers for life.
Last month British Airways BA revealed that it urgently needed to cut costs, unveiling a loss of £292m in the first half of the year. It subsequently reduced crew numbers on long-haul flights from 15 to 14, while also freezing pay and aiming to provide new recruits with less favourable contracts than exist staff – something that the union Unite believes will cause division between employees.
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