Socialist Worker

More action is the key to victory at BA

Issue No. 2197

Leaders of the Unite union are in “talks” with bullying British Airways boss Willie Walsh in a bid to end the cabin crew dispute.

Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, says the negotiations have made “serious progress”.

At the beginning of the week, the union had failed to call further strikes.

Cabin crew at BA are fighting to defend their jobs, pay, conditions and union.

Worker are furious with their union for not announcing further action.

One rep for Bassa, the cabin crew section of Unite, felt it necessary to appeal for calm on Bassa’s website.

“Whether or not we fully trust Unite is not really the issue right now,” it reads, before calling workers’ demands for action “unhelpful”.

But it is the Unite leadership that is being unhelpful.

Cabin crew have the potential to beat Walsh – but their union is refusing to call the kind of action that can win.

Airport operator BAA has confirmed the effectiveness of last month’s strikes. It says that industrial action stopped around 200,000 passengers from flying.

It also says that the strikes caused a 1.5 percent drop in overall passenger numbers across Britain’s airports in March.


As Socialist Worker went to press, there were rumours that BA had put a new offer to Unite.

Any offer must include the reinstatement of sacked union reps, the dropping of all charges against victimised workers, the reinstatement of cabin crew that have already been cut and workers’ staff travel concession.

It should also confirm an end to attacks on terms and conditions and compensation for unauthorised deductions that BA has made to crew’s pay following the strikes.

Offering to make cuts for the bosses has failed.

Workers need to pile pressure onto Unite to show they won’t accept a shoddy compromise.

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Article information

Tue 13 Apr 2010, 18:51 BST
Issue No. 2197
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