Socialist Worker

Nordic unions prepare action in support of BA strikers

Issue No. 2195

Trade unions in Denmark, Norway and Sweden are giving legal notice that they will take action in support of British Airways cabin crew. The five unions – Sweden’s SEKO and Swedish Transport Workers’ Union, Denmark’s 3F and Norway’s Parat and Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union – have acted in response to a call for lawful solidarity action made by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

In compliance with its country’s laws the Danish union has lodged statutory notice of planned legal sympathy action with its national employers’ associations last night, while their Swedish and Norwegian colleagues will do so in one week’s time, in line with the timetables set by their legislation.

They anticipate that action will commence on or around 14 April. They have not for now specified what form their actions will take.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft said: “BA is a world organisation and conflict within it has world repercussions. Our member unions have watched the failure of negotiations between management and union and they have been unanimous in recognising the risk of a downward spiral across the aviation sector and the potential for damage to the company, its image, passengers and workers that failure represents.'

He continued, “We and our members intend to resist what has come to look very much like an attempt to break the union, and resist the drop in standards across the industry – probably starting in Spain after any BA/Iberia tie-up – that it would usher in if allowed to happen.”

Per Östvold, President of the Nordic Transport Workers’ Federation, said: “These notifications signal our intention to go out and show our support for our colleagues in British Airways. In Norway, Sweden and Denmark we are now planning lawful expressions of solidarity with a workforce that we believe has been starved of consultation, stripped of travel benefits and excluded from consultation about its own future.”

Solidarity with BA cabin crew will also be on the agenda at the Helsinki meeting of the Executive Committee of the Nordic Transport Workers' Federation (NTF) on 5 April. The NTF is an association of 50 transport workers trade unions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

For more on the ITF's work in solidarity with the BA cabin crew go to »

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Thu 1 Apr 2010, 10:32 BST
Issue No. 2195
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