Pilots union Balpa said that the ballot closed today with 96 per cent agreeing to strike over complaints that their strenuous shift patterns are resulting in rising levels of fatigue. According to the union 86 per cent of its 2,000 members took part, reports The Telegraph.
Despite the overwhelming support of its members the union said that no plans to strike would move forward until after further discussions with easyJet management take place later today.
“Balpa has now received a last minute offer from easyJet to resolve the dispute and we will consider this carefully in meetings tomorrow before taking any further decisions,” a statement from the union said.
Talks between the unions and the low-cost airline, founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, had been going on for more than a year but broke down in August, prompting the ballot.
At the time the union said: “The core issue of the dispute was that fatigue had risen year on year, to levels pilots and Balpa find unacceptable.”
EasyJet’s management will be hoping to avert the first spate of industrial action in the company’s history, which could deal a particularly heavy blow to the airline by co-inciding with the October half-term holidays and affecting thousands of families.
EasyJet said it is committed to working with Balpa to find a resolution to the dispute and promised passengers that no disruption is currently planned.
“We hope to reach a mutually agreeable solution. EasyJet can reassure its passengers that no industrial action is currently planned by its UK pilots,” it said.