Socialist Worker

Unite needs to name strike dates at British Airways

Issue No. 2191

Over 1,000 British Airways workers made their way to Kempton Park racecourse for a mass meeting on Thursday of last week.

They were expecting the meeting to name dates for action after their massive vote to strike—more than 80 percent voted yes on a turnout of almost 80 percent.

But there was frustration in the meeting as national Unite union officials kept it on a tight leash. They refused to call strikes, saying more negotiations were needed.

Len McCluskey, Unite’s assistant general secretary, said, “We won’t be giving any deadlines to anybody. Calm needs to be injected into the situation.”

But BA has shown no “calm”. It has imposed job cuts and is recruiting scabs.

Some workers accepted the idea of “trusting the union negotiators”.

Socialist Worker spoke to cabin crew workers at the mass meeting, “We have to look reasonable or the media will slaughter us,” said Jenny.

But others were angry.

“We should just strike now. We should have been out at Christmas,” said Emma. “Why are we giving BA more time?”

Josh said, “We’ve already had reps suspended. There’s a culture of fear at work now. Nothing’s going to come out of waiting.”

The clock is ticking. Unite should call the strikes immediately.

Some names have been changed to protect cabin crew


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News
Tue 2 Mar 2010, 18:07 GMT
Issue No. 2191
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