Unite has announced it will ballot British Airways cabin crew next week for further strike action. The ballot will run between 21 December and 21 January and could cause strikes for the airline from 28 January at the earliest. Disputes between the airline and union are centered on perks and wages that were docked from crew following strikes earlier this year, as well as threats and a change to job terms that were supposedly put forward by BA. Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, said BA had handled the dispute ‘badly’ and said it was open to talks. “British Airways knows what it must do to end this dispute,” said Woodley. “Four of the five outstanding issues are no cost issues for the airline and are about treating cabin crew with dignity, respect and ending the climate of persecution. The fifth item is about stopping BA from imposing a near minimum waged workforce and killing their brand.” Today BA called the ballot a ‘grossly disproportionate response’ to Unite’s ongoing issues with the airline. “Unite struck a deal in October and reneged on it. The union agreed last week to hold further talks with us, but has instead issued a strike ballot,” its statement said. “We have put forward very fair proposals that enable our existing Heathrow crew to remain the best rewarded in the UK airline industry. Despite the difficult economic conditions we have faced, we have made savings in ways that have avoided compulsory redundancies.” BA said it was confident that its contingency plans would operate Gatwick and London City as normal. It aims to ‘run a substantial proportion’ of its short haul programme and all long-haul flights from Heathrow.