No. 10 says the strike by BA Heathrow staff will cause more “trouble” for passengers.


Troika action by British Airways workers in Heathrow will bring more “trouble” to passengers already stranded at airports, Downing Street said, amid fears that industrial action could spell summer for millions of Britons. May derail holiday plans.

A spokesman for No. 10 “strongly encouraged” the airline and the GMB and United unions to negotiate a settlement after voting overwhelmingly in favor of the strike on Thursday.

It comes as London commuters suffered fresh disruptions on Friday, with some overgrounds and tube lines ready to run less service in the morning after the second day of a nationwide rail strike. More than 40,000 RMT workers walked out amid a bitter controversy over real-time pay rises and redundancies.

Transport for London (TfL) urged Londoners to refrain from traveling on the overground before mid-morning, saying passengers should “expect disruption” throughout the day. There will also be a separate strike on Night Tube on the Central, Jubilee and Victoria lines on Friday.

Network Rail said about 60 per cent of trains in the UK would run until Friday due to the strike, and signals and control room staff would not be available for overnight shifts due to delays in the start of services.

“Even during the day, the service will be thinner than usual,” Network Rail said, and some operators will shut down services shortly before normal.

Passenger queue at Heathrow

/ PA wire

Meanwhile, British expatriates faced more chaos at airports as more than 90 per cent of BA workers in both the United and GMB unions supported the strike.

Workers, including check-in staff, will now decide on strike dates, which the union says are likely to take place during the summer holidays.

GMB National Officer Nadine Houghton urged passengers not to book a BA flight “at this stage”.

He said that after claiming a similar deduction in wages during epidemics, the airline “tried to offer our members pieces from the table” in the form of a 10% bonus payment.

The BA said it was “extremely disappointed” with the strike but would “work together to find a solution”.

“Despite the extremely difficult environment and the losses of over bn 4bn, we offered a 10% payment which was accepted by the majority of our peers,” he said.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “It is clear that this is a matter for British Airways and the unions and we would be very encouraged to come together to find a solution.

“We do not want to see any more obstacles for the passengers and the strike will increase the difficulties faced by the passengers at the airports.

“The DFT (Department of Transport) will work closely to see clearly what BA can take and we expect BA to take emergency measures to ensure that disruption is minimized. And that passengers should be returned wherever there is an obstacle. “

Passengers are already in chaos at UK airports as staff shortages have forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights, with long queues at security and long luggage waiting. The industry has seen an increase in demand since thousands of workers were deployed during the epidemic, but aviation owners have warned that it could take up to 18 months to rebuild capacity.

Elsewhere, rail operators and RMT failed to make any progress in negotiations on Thursday – causing a stalemate in much of the country.

Talks are underway to stop Saturday’s strike, but passengers are urged to contact train operators to update services.

Eddie Dempsey, RMT’s assistant general secretary, said he thought “the people are behind us”.

He said: “This is a time when wages in the UK have risen. Wages have been falling for 30 years and corporate profits have skyrocketed.