BRITS have been warned to prepare for yet another holiday hell after British Airways workers at Heathrow voted to go on strike this summer.
BA check-in and ground staff, who belong to the GMB and Unite unions, will exit in line for pay, it has been announced.
The move will turn the screws for families desperate for a hard-earned break after weeks of misery and chaos at airports across the country.
A whopping 95 percent of those polled today supported taking action, with workers set to put down their tools as early as July 8.
Around 700 staff are now expected to step down and join the strikers who work for Ryanair and easyJet.
It comes as GMB seeks to reverse a 10 per cent pay cut for workers imposed during the pandemic.
BA says it offered a one-off 10 per cent bonus but no return to the same salary as before – and union bosses say the “one-off” fee isn’t enough.
Instead, they’re asking for a full refund.
GMB representative Nadine Houghton said: “With grim predictability, holidaymakers are facing massive disruption thanks to British Airways’ stubbornness.
“BA has tried to offer our members crumbs off the table in the form of a one-off 10 percent bonus, but that’s not enough.
“Our members must be rehired for the 10 per cent they stole from them last year, with full back payment and the 10 per cent bonus paid by other colleagues.
“GMB members at Heathrow have suffered unspeakable abuse as they deal with travel chaos caused by staff shortages and IT failures.
“At the same time, her pay was cut during BA’s callous dismissal and reinstatement policy.
“What did BA think would happen?”
She said it was “not too late to save the summer holidays” as pay cuts were reversed for other workers.
It’s not too late to save the summer holidays – this industrial action can be nipped in the bud
“Do the same for the ground and check-in staff and this industrial dispute can be nipped in the bud,” she warned.
A spokesman for BA said the airline was “extremely disappointed” despite trying to reassure customers that the strike will involve every second member of the Heathrow-based team in customer-facing roles.
“We remain committed to speaking to our unions about their concerns,” they said.
“We hope that together we can find a way to reach an agreement in the best interests of our employees and our customers.”
The summer strikes are the latest blow amid days of strike chaos as Britain’s railways grind to a miserable halt again today.
And things could get worse as feared militant unions are already laying plans for a crippling second wave of strikes in just two weeks.
Talks between Hardline RMT and Network Rail to avert today’s strike broke down bitterly last night.
At airports across the country, travelers are already feeling the strain of a widespread staffing crisis.
Last minute flight cancellations, huge queues and lost luggage have left passengers devastated while airports grapple with it.
EasyJet airline is reportedly planning to cancel nearly 10,000 MORE flights.
The cancellations – which are expected to include flights to holiday hotspots such as Greece and Spain – will take place in July, August and September.
It has already canceled seven percent of the 16,000 trips expected between July and September.
Earlier this week, more than 15,000 passengers were abandoned after Heathrow Airport canceled 10 percent of its air travel.
It comes as:
Photos taken at airports across the country show holiday hopes spread across the floors, with bags piled high in the travel carnage.
And industry leaders said summer was unlikely to get any better.
When asked if things will improve, Unite’s National Officer for Civil Air Transport Oliver Richardson said, “Unless we work together, no.”
This was confirmed by Jude Winstanley, Managing Director of Swissport, along with Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airline Operators Association.
Mr Richardson said there was a “correlation” between airlines that have made large job cuts during the pandemic and those that are currently canceling the most flights.
British Airways has laid off around 10,000 employees, followed by easyJet which has cut 2,000.
Both airlines had the most cancellations.