British Airways turns to state mediator to avert pilot strike

British Airways turns to state mediator to avert pilot strike
Source: Bloomberg
Date: 05-07-2019 Time: 01:07:50:pm

British Airways is entering conciliation talks with pilots in a bid to head off a walkout over pay at the height of the summer travel season.

The unit of IAG SA will meet with the BALPA union at the U.K.’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service on Monday, spokespeople for the two sides told Bloomberg. The talks, which will focus on share awards and profit-sharing terms, come ahead of a July 22 deadline for pilots to vote in a strike ballot.

British Airways had been facing pay disputes with unions representing flight attendants and ground staff, as well as pilots, but said Friday it had reached an agreement with unions representing the first two groups.

The ability of cockpit crews to ground flights means they pose a bigger threat to BA CEO Alex Cruz’s bid to cuts costs and combat discounter rivals such as EasyJet Plc.

If BALPA members back a strike, it must give two weeks’ notice ahead of any walkout, with the result valid for six months. The labour group declined to comment further, while BA urged it to follow the Unite and GMB unions in recommending a “fair and generous pay offer” to staff.

Shares of IAG, or International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, reversed earlier losses and were trading up 0.3% at 459.10 pence as of 2:28 p.m. in London.