Pilots threaten bmibaby strike


Pilots belonging to the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) union have voted two to one in favour of industrial action against low budget airline Bmibaby.

But union representatives have said they do not plan a strike because the number of pilots belonging to Balpa who fly for the airline make up only 47 per cent of the workforce.

Instead further talks will take place to try to resolve the numerous grievances which Jim McAuslan, Balpa general secretary, have been growing incrementally thanks to general bad treatment by Bmibaby managers.

"The heart of these disputes is the total lack of respect shown by the company towards its key people, the highly trained, highly professional airline pilots," Mr McAuslan said.

"The imposition of the pay increase, the imposition of the higher contribution to the pension scheme, all without any meaningful consultation, is a disgrace in this day and age. If you treat your key people like this they will rebel. And BMI pilots have had enough."

BMI, which owns the Bmibaby subsidiary, said that it remained "hopeful that any industrial action can be avoided".

It added that "Bmibaby's offer of negotiations for a multi year pay deal for 2007 onwards remains on the table" and said it was "reflecting" on union proposals to "find a way through the dispute".

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