British Airways labor row continues


LONDON – British Airways PLC has suspended another member of cabin crew who also acts as a union representative for British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association, highlighting continuing tensions between the airline and the BA union arm.

Nicky Marcus is the latest BASSA representative to be suspended, following similar action by the airline in early May against branch secretary Duncan Holley, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.

A BASSA spokeswoman confirmed Marcus’ suspension but said she could not give any further details.

BA confirmed a member of cabin crew had been suspended as part of an internal investigation into a gross misconduct disciplinary allegation, but declined to comment on the person’s identity.

“The company’s disciplinary process has been in place for many years and was agreed with all of its unions, including Unite,” a spokesman for BA said, but added that “as a responsible company, we would not divulge details of individual cases.”

The ongoing battle over working conditions has lasted more than 18 months and has seen accusations from both sides, but most notably that BA staff have been suspended for taking part in industrial action or for talking to the media as well as allegations of bullying by airline’s management.

BA said, “In recent months, most of the suspensions that have taken place have related to allegations from other employees of bullying and intimidation.”

BA added that nobody had yet been suspended for talking to the media but explained that it is against employees’ contracts to talk to the media without prior approval in case they reveal commercially sensitive information to the press.

To date BA has concluded 60 disciplinary cases. Of those, 13 have been dismissed for serious cases of misconduct, but these cases are subject to appeal.

Another eight have had no action taken against them and have returned to work; 10 have been asked to have conversations with their line managers after heading back to work and 29 have had written warnings but have gone back to work.