Socialist Worker

British Airways: what the hell is the Unite union doing?

Issue No. 2213

Cabin crew at British Airways are still waiting for their Unite union to call a fresh strike ballot—despite rejecting a “final offer” from BA over two weeks ago.

Workers are fighting against job losses and attacks on their terms, conditions and union rights. They have taken 22 days of strike action so far.

BA boss Willie Walsh is refusing to retreat. He has used the union’s hesitancy to push more attacks, including removing travel allowances, and sacking and suspending workers.

Walsh met joint general secretary of Unite, Tony Woodley, for talks on Monday of this week. But they were over in minutes, with the only announcement being that more talks are set for next week.

The cabin crew are clear—they have thrown out Walsh’s latest offer and want to resume strike action.

So why is Unite refusing to begin the new ballot?

BA announced losses last week, and admitted that the strikes had made an impact.

Strike action can win. Some 6,000 workers, who work for airport operator BAA, are currently balloting for strikes. The ballots end on 12 August.

If BAA and BA cabin crew struck together it would strengthen both groups and force bosses to retreat.

Unite must not waste this opportunity.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 3 Aug 2010, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2213
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.