Strike-hit BA accuses Unite of disinformation campaign

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British Airways has accused its cabin crew union, Unite, of spreading disinformation over the effectiveness of its strike, which today entered its third day.

Both sides have put forward contradictory claims over the effect that the Unite union's industrial action is having on the carrier's operations.

BA says its contingency plans worked well over the first two days of the strike, and that it has managed to operate a full Boeing 777 programme and been able to introduce additional Boeing 747-400 services.

It adds that there was "no evidence" of threatened overseas disruption.

But the airline has also attacked Unite's claims regarding BA's operations, pointing out that while the airline is obliged by law to ensure its information does not mislead, there is no similar legal constraint on the union.

"Information concerning our operation is clearly market-sensitive," says the carrier. "This information includes matters such as numbers of passengers we are able to carry, numbers of flights operated and numbers of crew reporting for work."

If the airline was releasing inaccurate information, it points out, this would automatically mean that BA's management was breaking the law.

"A great deal of the information [Unite has] put out over the last three days has no basis in fact," it adds. "Unite has no way of obtaining accurate figures as to how many customers are on our aircraft or how many crew are reporting for work."

Unite has claimed today that BA's contingency plan is "failing" and that only three out of 77 flights scheduled are operating normally.