The warning of passenger disruption from Unite, the UK’s largest union, came on the eve of today’s extraordinary annual general meeting of the airline’s parent company Tui Travel and its German sister company Tui AG to vote on merger plans.
About 30 crew controllers and their assistants, who arrange cabin crew and pilot rosters to Civil Aviation Authority regulations to cover for sick colleagues and any unforeseen circumstances, will be balloted from November 19 for strike action in a dispute over pay. The ballot closes on December 10.
Unite argues that the company rewards other sections of the airline’s 2,500 strong workforce well, but crew controllers have not benefited and their pay has been “severely eroded” in relation to the retail price index (RPI) rate of inflation since 2010.
The ballot follows a breakdown in negotiations held under the auspices of conciliation service Acas.
Unite regional officer, Kevin Hall, said: “This is an extremely profitable company that rewards other sections of its workforce very generously and our members in the crewing department see this day in, day out.
“We do not believe it is unreasonable to start to bring our members pay back in line with inflation and the early indications we have had from our members is that this ballot will be well supported.
“Our members earn relatively modest salaries ranging between £21,000 and £29,000-a-year for the skills and dedication they bring to their jobs which ensure the smooth running of the airline and getting passengers away on time for their well-deserved breaks.
“Passengers could face the real threat of disruption in the run to the Christmas holidays, if the crew controllers and their assistants walk out.
“We call on the management to get around the table and negotiate a fair and equable deal that will avert strike action over Christmas and the New Year.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly