Workers Continue Strike But British Airways Still Flying

Workers Continue Strike But British Airways Still Flying

Saturday, March 27, 2010


••• British Airways says 66% of all their cabin crew staff went work despite the four-day walkout being staged by Unite members.

Air passengers have had to cope with more travel disruption this weekend as cabin crew take to picket lines once again.

But the airline says 96% of staff turned up to work at Gatwick.

There was a turnout of 61% for Heathrow longhaul flights and 56% for the airport’s shorthaul ones.

The strike follows a dispute between the Unite union and BA bosses over jobs and cost cutting.

This is the second round of action from cabin crew this month.

Those staff that have been on the picket lines today have complained of an ‘atmosphere of fear’ and having to ‘constantly look over their shoulder’.

Hundreds of hundreds of staff congregated at a football ground underneath one of Heathrow’s flight paths in Bedfont.

One cabin crew member said: ‘I’m constantly looking over my shoulder in case I fill in the wrong form, tick the wrong box, say the wrong thing.

‘Whereas before you would just be called in, now they are going straight to suspending people.’

Unite’s assistant general secretary Len McCluskey condemned the treatment of striking British Airways workers as a ‘disgrace’.

Speaking in Bedfont he urged them to stand up against ‘the aggressive bullies’ that manage the airline.

‘It’s become evident for a while that instead of seeking to resolve your concerns, they are trying to crush your right to have a collective unit and you’re not going to let them do that.

The crowds cheered as he continued: ‘You are not mindless militants, you are decent men and women trying to protect your future and the company that you love.’

BA said that 18% of its customers had been re-booked to travel on different airlines, or had changed the dates of their flights to avoid the strike period.

Unite warned that the seven-day dispute will cost the airline around 100m, but BA has estimated it will cost about half that.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said: ‘The vast majority of BA staff, including thousands of cabin crew, are pulling together to serve our customers and keep our flag flying.

‘At the same time, I feel really sorry for those customers whose plans have been ruined by the Unite union’s completely unjustified action.

‘Despite the union’s promises, this strike has affected the Easter holiday plans of thousands of hard-working people.’

Mr Walsh has withdrawn the travel perks from the staff who took part in the first strike action earlier this month.

Cabin crew strike
Unite, the trade union that represents the majority of British Airways (BA) cabin crew, has announced its intention to take strike action from 27 to 30 March 2010.
Updated information including some cancellations for flights departing on 27 and 30 March 2010

For more information: All The Latest Advice For British Airways Passengers GO
• Source(s): U.K. Press & British Airways



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