Socialist Worker

Uncovering roots of scab ‘union’ at British Airways

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2188

The “scabin crew” at British Airways is getting jittery.

The Professional Cabin Crew Council (PCCC), a scab “union”, is arguing for a No vote in the cabin crew workers’ strike ballot.

They are also calling on workers to leave their union, Unite.

The PCCC says it is run by ordinary cabin crew. But evidence of BA bosses’ involvement is mounting.

Unite has reported secret conversations involving a senior BA manager overheard in the week before Christmas.

According to Unite, a group of four BA employees were “discussing a ‘counter-insurgency’ style campaign against Unite, to begin shortly before the next ballot notice.

“One of the men was wearing a visitor’s pass – indicating that he was an outside contractor.

“One of the men had a cabin crew airside ID, as did the female, and the third man was a senior BA manager.”

The union concludes that BA is “financially committed” to the campaign to undermine the union and the ballot.

It calls the strategy “industrial terrorism”.


The revelations have enraged the PCCC. In an email to cabin crew it says that it will prove that it is an organisation of workers.

“At some point we will stand testament to this fact by revealing our identity – that of cabin crew,” it claims.

So why can’t the people behind it reveal themselves now? The reason is obvious – they are scabs backed by BA bosses.

The PCCC reeks of the bosses. It says it feels “very strongly” that BA management has “acted fairly”.

All BA has done, according to the PCCC, is ask cabin crew “to work a bit harder onboard”.

It is an Alice in Wonderland version of reality.

BA has trampled over union agreements to impose job cuts on cabin crew.

It is threatening to rip up agreements with workers, take away allowances and attack pay.

And senior Unite stewards say that BA has leaked information about cabin crew – including wages, holiday records and unlisted home addresses – to the Daily Mail newspaper.

BA wants to introduce a new fleet on lower pay and worse conditions.

There is massive anger among BA cabin crew. They voted by 92 percent for strikes on a turnout of over 80 percent in December.

Unite should use its full weight to smash management’s shoddy strikebreaking.

BA workers have the strength to win.

Do you have a story about the BA scab union? Email [email protected]

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Article information

Tue 9 Feb 2010, 18:13 GMT
Issue No. 2188
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