Socialist Worker

British Airways bosses scoop bonus bonanza

Issue No. 2246

It’s official—British Airways (BA) has the money to pay cabin crew a decent wage and reinstate sacked workers. Ex-boss Willie Walsh pocketed a £420,000 bonus for his “work” in the last nine months of 2010.

Bassa, the cabin crew section of the Unite union, says that Walsh’s bonus, salary and shares took his total possible pay to £2 million for just nine months in 2010.

Meanwhile, Keith Williams, Walsh’s replacement, grabbed a £208,000 bonus.

Walsh made much of his refusal to accept bonuses while at BA. But now he is reaping his reward for waging war on BA cabin crew.

Appallingly, one of the conditions for Walsh receiving the bonus was “improved industrial relations”.

Cabin crew have voted overwhelmingly for strikes several times. Some 83 percent backed strikes in their most recent ballot last month—an even stronger result than a previous ballot in January.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey says that union reps will talk to BA management to try to resolve the dispute before he calls any strikes. But the bitter history of the dispute clearly shows that talks get nowhere unless they are backed up by action.

Calling a programme of hard-hitting strikes is the only way to squeeze any retreat out of BA bosses.

Cabin crew have voted for strikes. They must put pressure on McCluskey to act on their vote and name the strike dates now.

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Tue 5 Apr 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2246
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