British Airways pilots plan to strike over 3 days in September, throwing air travel into chaos
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- The British Airways pilots union announced that it would go on strike September 9, 10, and 27.
- Pilots initially voted in July to authorize the strike, but continued negotiating with the airline.
- The strike is unrelated to a similar strike vote by Ryanair pilots.
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British Airways' pilots' union has announced three dates in September on which pilots are planning a labor walkout.
The union, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), confirmed to Business Insider that it would strike on September 9, 10, and 27.
BALPA members initially voted in late July to authorize the strike, which British Airways unsuccessfully attempted to block in court. The union said that 90% of its 4,000 members turned out for the vote, and 93% of them voted to authorize a strike.
BALPA did not initially announce dates for the strike, saying it would continue to try and negotiate with the airline. The union must issue at least two weeks' notice before striking.
In a statement, BALPA said that negotiations had failed to reach an agreement.
"BALPA put forward a number of packages that we believe would have resolved this dispute without a strike, and which we could have recommended to our members for acceptance prior to strike action," the union said. "BA did not accept any of these packages, and it is clear following discussions with members over the last few days that BA's most recent offer will not gain the support of anywhere near a majority of its pilots."
The announcement came following a long-running dispute between the airline and pilots over a pay raise. The airline has recorded high profits in recent quarters and issued large dividends to shareholders, and the pilots' union has sought an above-inflation pay raise that would include a profit-sharing benefit.
According to The Guardian, the pilots argue that they accepted pay cuts when the airline faced a difficult market during the financial crisis, and that they should be able to share in the good periods as well.
The airline previously said it offered a 11.5% raise over three years, which the union rejected.
"In what is British Airways' centenary year, this will be the very first time its pilots will go on strike," BALPA said in its statement. "They do so as a last resort and with enormous frustration at the way the business is now being run."
UK-based pilots from low-cost-carrier Ryanair have also announced plans to strike in an unrelated dispute. The union previously announced that it would strike from August 22-24 - which it postponed - and September 2-4.