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Christmas Travel Disruptions Predicted

A new strike ballot by British Airways cabin crew is looking highly likely according to the trade union Unite; this could result in major disruptions to travel over the Christmas period.

A meeting at Kempton Park Racecourse recently was attended by over 1,000 cabin crew to discuss the ongoing dispute with their employers. Initial grievances regarded the cost cutting techniques implemented on staff; however this has now escalated to grievances over travel bonuses and disciplinary action taken against some crew members.

Voters at the meeting agreed in favour of another ballot over industrial action following 22 days of strikes already taken this year.

BAA who own Southampton, Stansted, Heathrow, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports confirmed that its airports would have to close if the industrial action goes ahead, as members of the smaller union Prospect, which represents around 100 BAA staff members, have also voted in favour of industrial action. They declared that their airports would be unable to operate without engineers, security staff and fire fighters.

The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA) were also present at the meeting and their members voted in support of Industrial action too.

Unite members were due to take strike action over the Christmas period last year, however BA won a last minute high court battle over the legality of the ballot and the disruption was averted.

A BA statement declared that they had not received any notification of an intended ballot by staff, however Unite hope to hold further meetings with the airline at the Trades Union Congress to be held in Manchester in the near future when it is believed they will call for another strike ballot.

Virgin Atlantic have also held a recent meeting with members of the pilots union Balpa, to discuss a dispute over changes the airline have implemented to the number of days off pilots are entitle to on top of their holiday allowance, however it appears that strike action form Virgin staff has been averted.