Socialist Worker

Resistance stalled at British Airways as Unite union delays

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2209

BA has launched an all-out war on cabin crew. It wants to cut jobs, attack pay and conditions and undermine them with a new “mixed fleet”—workers that will be employed on less pay and with worse conditions.

The company wants to smash the unionised workforce and is putting up a challenge to the whole trade union movement.

Cabin crew have taken 22 days of strike action against the plans so far this year. They were solid, effective and well supported.

But their Unite union leaders are refusing to call more action.

The union was set to begin a new ballot for strikes—but has delayed this to ballot crew on a lousy offer instead.

The ballot paper was posted to workers this week and will end on 20 July. Unite is refusing to recommend that workers reject the offer.

A planned mass meeting, due to take place on Monday of this week was cancelled—meaning that workers had no chance to have their say on the dispute.

The new offer attempts to bribe crew to accept attacks with a one-off payment. It does not reinstate workers’ staff travel discounts, which BA boss Willie Walsh vindictively snatched away from strikers.

Nor does it resolve the sackings and disciplinaries that have been imposed on more than 50 staff.

Workers should organise to win an overwhelming no vote in the ballot on the new offer.

And they should demand that their union urgently escalates the action—officially or otherwise.

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Article information

Tue 6 Jul 2010, 17:36 BST
Issue No. 2209
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