BA suspends check-ins as catering dispute escalates

British Airways has been forced to suspend all check-ins at London’s Heathrow Airport, after staff walked out in support of sacked catering staff.

The company at the centre of the row, Gate Gourmet, have reportedly now sacked 800 workers since the dispute began on Wednesday. The company, which is the sole supplier of catering for BA flights, said that the sackings followed an unofficial strike.

However, the Transport and General Workers Union accused Gate Gourmet of provoking a dispute over restructuring plans and accused the company of planning the sackings in advance.

It has been reported that BA staff, including baggage handlers, loaders and bus drivers, walked out on Thursday afternoon in support of the sacked Gate Gourmet staff, prompting BA to suspend all check-ins at Heathrow.

Many of BA’s long-haul flights have been left without catering due to the dispute. Earlier on Thursday, BA said that all of its Heathrow flights would have no catering on board and it urged customers to eat before leaving for the airport or to allow extra time at the airport to eat a meal.

Bags of food and vouchers were also handed out to BA passengers at Heathrow on Thursday, prior to boarding flights.

It was reported that over 500 BA short and long haul flights were forced to depart with only basic supplies of water, tea and coffee on Wednesday.

BA is understood to be considering compensation for those passengers affected.

Any passengers flying on BA flights from Heathrow over the weekend are urged to call the helpline on: 0870 850 9850 or check the website for information at: www.britishairways,com


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