London [UK], March 3 (ANI): British Airways' (BA) Unite union, who work for its Mixed Fleet operation, have started a one-week long strike starting midnight to protest "poverty pay".
Mixed Fleet staff have been recruited since 2010, at the conclusion of the last big cabin crew dispute, and now make up around 30 per cent of Heathrow crew. They work on a range of domestic, European and long-haul routes.
Over the first three days of the strike, British Airways expected to cancel 14 flights out of a total of 3,300 departures.
According to the Independent, the union says their earnings constitute "poverty pay" and that they are employed on less favourable terms than longer-serving cabin crew. British Airways rejects this, and says its pay rates are competitive with the industry.
Earlier, when BA made an improved pay offer the cabin crew rejected the deal in a ballot conducted just before the New Year. Since then Unite members have taken 26 days of industrial action.
A BA spokesperson said: "Once again we will be able to fly all customers to their destinations, despite industrial action by Mixed Fleet Unite. We will operate a full schedule at Gatwick and London City airports as well as the vast majority of our Heathrow schedule.
"We will merge a very small number of Heathrow services, and all affected customers will be rebooked to alternative flights."
The airline will 'wet-lease' aircraft and crew from other carriers to cover gaps in the schedule.
During the latest four-day strike, BA flew its normal timetable with no wet-leased aircraft. (ANI)