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BA uses EU law to prevent strike by pilots

12 March 2008

British Airways is looking to use European competition law and a threat to seek “‘unlimited damages’” against the UK pilots’ union in order to stop them going on strike.

An overwhelming majority of BA’s 3,200 pilots voted last month in favour of taking strike action over BA’s plans to set up OpenSkies, a new airline subsidiary, with a pilot workforce separate to its mainline operations, which fly to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Conciliation talks aimed at resolving the bitter dispute over future pilot staffing at BA subsidiary airlines in Europe collapsed on Friday.

Balpa, the pilots’ union, had planned to issue dates for its first strikes, which would ground the airline, but was forced to postpone the move when BA warned the union it had “‘a valid legal claim’” against it, if it “‘took the disproportionate step of calling a strike’”.


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