More flight cancellations over July 4th weekend!
A bumpy Independence Day holiday would complete the trifecta after a rough Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend and a delay-filled Memorial Day break. Staffing shortages and supply-chain issues have marred the getaways many Americans had been pining for after two summers of pandemic hardships.
Analysts told Insider that these messes — in which overwhelmed carriers have canceled thousands of flights — plus the forecasts for July 4 mean travel turmoil is a trend, not a blip.
United Airlines said last week that it would slash about 12% of its flights out of Newark, New Jersey, one of its hubs, this summer beginning with the July 4 weekend. And JetBlue Airways — which is battling Frontier Airlines to acquire a rival budget carrier, Spirit Airlines — said in May that it would halt some routes at least temporarily following episodes of delays and cancellations.
Major airlines laid off tens of thousands of workers over the past two years as the pandemic sent demand for seats plunging. The industry is facing shortages in roles such as air-traffic controllers. Compounding this is the aftermath of airline-employee buyouts during the pandemic; unplanned employee time off because of COVID-19 infections or workplace stress; and supply-chain issues.
British Airways check-In workers strike!
A war of words has erupted between the powerful union that represents British Airways check-in staff and the UK’s opposition Labour Party over the union’s threat to stage highly disruptive strike action over the summer holidays.
The check-in staff are demanding British Airways restore a 10 percent pay cut that was forced through at the height of the pandemic and have voted overwhelmingly in favor of staging a strike if BA doesn’t meet their demands.
British Airways has only offered a one-off bonus worth 10 percent of basic wages. The airline is reluctant to cave in to the union’s demands over fears it will lead to an avalanche of similar demands from other workgroups who had their pay and conditions reduced during the pandemic.
On Sunday, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said he “categorically” opposed the proposed strike action and suggested Labour should withdraw support from striking workers.
Lammy said he no longer supported striking transport workers because he is “serious about the business of being in Government.”
The comments drew a fierce rebuke from the leader of the Unite union Sharon Graham who accused Labour of “hitting a new low”
“David Lammy has chosen to launch a direct attack on British Airways workers,” Graham blasted. “This is a group of workers who were savagely attacked by their employer during Covid. ‘Fire and rehire’ led to thousands of unnecessary job cuts and pay being slashed.”