Socialist Worker

British Airways dispute takes off with two-week strike

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2560

Striking in February

Striking in February (Pic: Guy Smallman)


British Airways (BA) cabin crew were set to begin a two-week walkout this Saturday against the firm’s policy of removing their staff travel concessions.

The Unite union members are part of BA’s “mixed fleet”, set up in 2010 to undermine union organisation and drive down pay.

But they have waged a determined campaign of 26 strike days from January to March against poverty pay.

This forced BA to make concessions, but bosses are still punishing those who struck by taking a perk from them.

Nicky Marcus, Unite official and former BA rep, told Socialist Worker, “Members are hungry for this action.

“They won’t stomach the idea that BA can punish them for exercising their right to take industrial action.

“BA’s vindictiveness has given us back the momentum for the strike.

“We paused for peace, but BA just couldn’t help themselves. Now anything less than two weeks would have seemed weak.”

Safety 

The union has threatened legal action and has also complained to the Civil Aviation Authority watchdog.

It has raised possible safety implications about BA’s plans to break the strike with Airbus planes.

But it is the return to collective action that can really shake BA.

The planned strike could have a big impact as the peak holiday season looms.

Workers encourage supporters to join them on Saturday at the Bedfont centre near London Heathrow airport (see below).

Nicky said, “The support we’ve had has been fantastic and long may it continue.”

Bedfont &District Community Association,Feltham, TW14 9QZ from 10am on Saturday

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