Union boss cannot call off BA pilot strikes - because he's on a cruise

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Union boss cannot call off BA pilot strikes that threaten holiday chaos for thousands – because he’s gone on a cruise for his 60th birthday Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton has gone on European cruise holiday Union members have agreed to three days of strikes later this year Senior managers for BA accused Mr Strutton of hampering negotiations

By Sean Poulter and Xantha Leatham For The Daily Mail

Published: 22:44 BST, 25 August 2019 | Updated: 22:44 BST, 25 August 2019

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The union boss leading a pilots’ strike threatening the plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers was last night accused of delaying talks by going on holiday.

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa, is believed to be enjoying a European cruise ahead of his 60th birthday.

His members at British Airways have left passengers in travel limbo after announcing three days of industrial action next month.

Unhappy with a three-year pay deal worth 11.5 per cent, they are threatening to ground the fleet out of Heathrow, Gatwick, other UK airports and many more around the world.

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa, is believed to be enjoying a European cruise ahead of his 60th birthday  as passengers for British Airways are left in travel limbo after announcing three days of industrial action next month

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa, is believed to be enjoying a European cruise ahead of his 60th birthday  as passengers for British Airways are left in travel limbo after announcing three days of industrial action next month

Senior managers at the airline accuse Mr Strutton of hampering their efforts to resolve the dispute by travelling overseas. And the disappearance of the union boss, who earns more than £140,000 a year, will fuel the anger of those facing travel misery.

Balpa insisted Mr Strutton’s senior colleagues were available to continue the talks.

BA sources said they shook hands with Mr Strutton on a three-year pay deal worth 11.5 per cent on the basis it would be recommended to pilots.

However, union bosses subsequently rejected the offer.

Unhappy with a three-year pay deal worth 11.5 per cent, they are threatening to ground the fleet out of Heathrow (pictured), Gatwick, other UK airports and many more around the world

Unhappy with a three-year pay deal worth 11.5 per cent, they are threatening to ground the fleet out of Heathrow (pictured), Gatwick, other UK airports and many more around the world

One woman wrote on Balpa’s Twitter feed: ‘Pure greed. Ruined my holiday and will miss a family .’ Another said: ‘Ruining families and children’s holidays for pure greed is the lowest of the low.’

The action by the pilots would cancel more than 850 flights on each strike day – September 9, 10 and 27 – and ruin the travel plans of 450,000 people.

There will also be disruption for some flights on surrounding days. Passengers are also furious with the way BA has handled the crisis.

The situation was made

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