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Striking BA crew ‘can only afford Pot Noodles’

A striking British Airways air hostess has told Sky News that staff have to eat Pot Noodles from their planes because they can’t afford to eat properly.

Charly Bacon is one of about 2,900 cabin crew involved in a dispute about pay.

She has been flying with BA for four years but has been a flight attendant since she was 18.

Now 25, she said she wanted to follow her sister’s example and was attracted to the glamour of the position.

But Charly told Sky News that the uniform was the most expensive thing that many cabin crew members owned.

“You expect to be able to afford things like phone bills, rent and petrol for your car as well as work and love the job that you do but unfortunately that is not the case,” she said.

Charly Bacon
‘Colleagues sleep in their cars’

“I’ve experienced friends having to sleep in their cars because they can’t afford the hotels around the area or they can’t afford the crew rooms.

“There comes a point where you think: ‘how much do I have to sacrifice?’.

“I’m sacrificing my health, I’m sacrificing my time. How much more do they want from me?”

Meanwhile, the war of words between British Airways and striking cabin crew appears to be intensifying, with both sides refusing to give ground in the row over pay.

The Unite union has accused the airline of effectively escalating the dispute by “going backwards” on an offer to staff and using threats to put pressure on striking workers.

Unions and British Airways disagree on how much new cabin crew recruits are paid

BA has emailed staff saying that if they continue to strike they will lose perks and bonuses for up to two years.

Unite’s general secretary Diana Holland told Sky News that the company was “punishing those members of staff who have taken their democratic right to industrial action”.

She said the tone of the dispute was darkening, adding: “There’s a very different atmosphere being created which is really unfortunate.”

Unite says new cabin crew recruits start at around £12,000, but the airline disputes this figure – saying that allowances and bonuses raise it to a minimum of £21,000.

BA’s head of cabin crew Karen Slinger said: “We’ve been talking to Unite now for several months about cabin crew pay so we’ve offered a very fair and reasonable pay rise to our cabin crew colleagues which has been accepted by over 92% of our colleagues across British Airways.

“We desperately want to resolve this as soon as possible and hope that Unite will accept that offer on behalf of their colleagues.”

The current four-day stoppage ends on Tuesday next week, with another four-day strike due to start on Thursday.

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