Socialist Worker

We need more strikes at British Airways

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2206

Cabin crew at British Airways ended their latest five-day strike on Wednesday of last week.

The day marked their 22nd day of strike action in their battle to defend jobs, pay, conditions and their union.

But their Unite union has called no further strike dates—despite the fact that BA boss Willie Walsh is refusing to budge.

Walsh has already cut jobs without agreement with the union. He wants to bring in a “new fleet” of workers, on worse pay and conditions, and rip up workers’ contracts.

Ultimately, Walsh wants a de-unionised cabin crew that he can bully to his heart’s content. Unite has said it may hold a fresh ballot. It still hasn’t begun one.

Every delay plays into the hands of Walsh, who is bullying union reps, intimidating crew and building up a strike-breaking force.

Every hold-up risks throwing away the momentum built up during the dispute.

It is a mistake to hold back on calling strikes. Cabin crew need to escalate their action to beat Walsh.

Unite is the biggest union in Britain and should mobilise the full weight of its members behind the cabin crew. Cabin crew can win—but they will need to mount pressure on their union leadership to do it.


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News
Tue 15 Jun 2010, 18:43 BST
Issue No. 2206
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