Complaint: BALPA (Pilot’s Trade Union)

Dear Sir/Madam

I am appalled to read that you are taking strike action to ruin the plans of many people, myself included.

An 11.5% pay rise over 3 years (for generally well-paid workers) is a good deal.  The current inflation rate is 2.1% – with there arguably being a greater risk of lower inflation due to recessionary risks, than higher inflation.

This seems like a rather generous deal to me.

Further to that, airlines do go bankrupt, as we have seen.  There are worse airlines to work for – my understanding is that working conditions at British Airways are far superior to that of Ryanair, for example.  You should be looking to protect the company that your pilots work for as opposed to damaging them, through unaffordable pay claims and now unfair strike action.

I urge you to immediately call off your strike action. You have now ruined my holiday plans – I have worked hard all year, at a wage far below those earned by your pilots (and probably trade union executives).  It’s no big deal to me, I’ll get a refund and I can re-arrange my holiday, however there are a flurry of people whose honeymoon and wedding plans you have ruined:

I could go on.  Tweet after tweet where you have ruined people’s dreams.
I expect your response will blame British Airways, however I reiterate that they are kind enough to employ your pilots and already pay them generously, with a further generous pay rise offered.  You are the ones that have called the strike action – you are in control here.

I urge you to desist from ruining the lives of thousands of people and immediately cancel your strike action.  Even if you hate British Airways and want to see them go bankrupt, at least cancel your strikes for those going on honeymoon.  And do it today.
Please have a heart – this is really unfair on so many people.

Yours sincerely

James Winfield


Dear James,

Thank you for your email dated 24 August 2019. Your comments are all noted and I appreciate that there is nothing I can write that will placate you in the current circumstances.

We remain available to resume talks with BA so that this matter can be settled. I am sorry that the announcement of strike dates has impacted on your personal plans and thank you for bringing other disruption to my attention.

Kind regards

Head of Organisation

For and on behalf of



Dear John

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

It seems very much that the ball is in your court. BALPA are the ones using Somali pirate techniques to demand more money. BALPA are the ones that have announced the strikes. British Airways have offered a reasonably generous pay rise.

I urge you to think of your fellow humans – especially those with wedding or honeymoon plans (not myself), and call off the strike immediately.

This action not only ruins the plans of thousands of hard-working people (the types that trade unions used to represent, back in the day), it will also damage the profitability of British Airways and therefore potentially lead them to being able to afford to run less routes, and employing less staff.

Politically it will also likely play into Boris Johnson’s hands.

There is something that you can write that will placate me, and that is confirmation that you will cancel the strike action.

Again, I urge you and your members to think of your fellow human beings. The ball is in your court. You can do this!

Kind regards

James Winfield


[still no response]


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