Posts Tagged ‘England



20
May
10

British Airways Strike Injunction Overturned

NEWS
British Airways Strike Injunction Overturned

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NEWS

••• British Airways cabin crew will go on strike for five days from Tuesday after the Unite union won an appeal against a High Court injunction blocking the action.

A series of five-day walkouts had been due to start this week but last Tuesday the High Court ruled in favour of British Airways as the airline made a last-ditch bid to stop the walkouts, Sky News reported today.

Overnight, two out of three judges sitting at the Court of Appeal in London accepted the union’s challenge to the High Court ruling.

After the decision, Unite announced a five-day strike from Tuesday next week.

British Airways said it was “disappointed for its customers” that Unite’s appeal had been upheld and described the strikes as “unjustified and pointless.”

It said, “We are confident that thousands of cabin crew will ignore Unite’s strike call and help us fly more than 70 percent of the customers who were booked to fly with us in the period targeted.”

The union originally announced four five-day stoppages from May 18-22 inclusive, then from May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9, the last strike ending just two days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa.

Joint Unite leader Tony Woodley repeated his claim the original dispute between British Airways and its cabin crew had been agreed in principle.

He said British Airways now had an “ideal opportunity” to settle the dispute despite the legal wrangle.

Mr. Woodley accused the airline of being “incredibly petty and vindictive” by refusing to fully restore travel concessions to staff who went on strike in March and over disciplinary action taken against more than 50 union members.
» Check your flight information here: British Airways
• Source(s): Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp. and British Airways PLC
Share

17
May
10

British Airways in court attempt to block strike

NEWS
British Airways in court attempt to block strike
Unite spokesman Steve Turner calls a High Court injunction against a planned strike by British Airways cabin crew an ‘affront to democracy’.

Monday, May 17, 2010

NEWS

••• British Airways has blocked a series of four five-day strikes by cabin crew after the High Court in London granted an injunction just hours before they were due to start.

The airline, facing mounting chaos because of the industrial dispute coupled with the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, succeeded in its legal action after successfully claiming the cabin crew union’s strike ballot failed to follow rules.

Members of the Unite union had been due to walk out from Tuesday to May 22, with further strikes planned on May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9.

The airline argued Unite had not properly complied with the requirement to send everyone eligible to vote details of the exact breakdown of the ballot result and therefore the strike action was unlawful.

The judge, Richard McCombe, expressed sympathy for the union and its members, but said: I am unable to say it is sufficiently clear that the union took the steps required by law at the time they were required.

Unite, which is locked in an increasingly bitter battle with BA over staffing and pay, strongly criticised the ruling and vowed to appeal.

This judgment is an absolute disgrace and will rank as a landmark attack on free trade unionism and the right to take industrial action, said the union’s leaders, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson.
British Airway said: We are delighted for our customers that Unite’s plans for extreme and unjustified strike action cannot go ahead.

The airline said it had already been forced to rearrange much of its schedule to accommodate the planned strike, but promised to restore a full flying program at its London Heathrow base by the weekend.

British Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, who held separate talks with both sides earlier on Monday, said the judgment was good news for passengers.

I want (both sides) to use this breathing space to resolve this dispute, both to avoid disruption to passengers and to safeguard the future of the airline, he said.

British Airway chief executive Willie Walsh spent three hours in talks on Monday with the Unite leaders and adjourned shortly after the court decision.

There will be further talks but events have been overtaken by the court’s decision, said Walsh.

A British Airway spokesman said: “We are delighted for our customers that Unite’s plans for extreme and unjustified strike action cannot go ahead. We are sorry the court judgment cannot undo the disruption already suffered by some customers who were due to travel during the early days of the union’s industrial action.

“As Unite knew, we had to announce last Thursday the rearrangement of our Heathrow schedule to give customers as much notice as possible about changes to their travel plans necessitated by the strike call. Ash disruption permitting, we will aim to restore a full flying programme at Heathrow by the weekend. We will also offer a full programme at Gatwick and London City, as planned.”

Unite’s national officer Steve Turner said: “It’s an affront to democracy and our members and we will be fighting back tomorrow.”

It is the second time in the long-running dispute that BA has succeeded in halting a cabin crew strike through legal action.

The airline won a High Court battle in December to stop a 12-day walkout over the busy Christmas and New Year holidays, when a judge granted an injunction.

British Airway also argued on this occasion that Unite’s ballot of staff was invalid.

The airline’s cabin crew staged walkouts in March, which were marked by sharp disagreements between the union and British Airway over the impact of the industrial action.
» Check your flight information here: British Airways
• Source(s): Independent Television News (ITN) and British Airways PLC
Share

17
May
10

No-fly zone lifted from North West airports

NEWS
No-fly zone lifted from North West airports

Monday, May 17, 2010

Earth

••• Planes will be allowed to fly through volcanic ash under new measures announced today by the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority.

The announcement of a new Time Limited Zone (TLZ) was made after all UK airspace was reopened yesterday evening.

The CAA said the TLZ – introduced from midday today (local time) – would allow flights for a limited time at higher ash densities than are currently allowed.

To operate in the new zone, airlines need to present the CAA with a safety case that includes the agreement of their aircraft and engine manufacturers.

The CAA said this meant that in future some areas of UK airspace that would have previously had to close would be able to remain open.

CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: “I’m pleased that the huge efforts we’re all making across aviation to keep flying safe while minimising the disruption from the volcano have resulted in further progress.”

The measures follow heavy criticism of the no-fly zones from airline industry chiefs.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh said blanket bans on flying were “a gross over-reaction to a very minor risk”.

And Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson described the situation as “beyond a joke”.

The announcement came after the U.K.’s National Air Traffic Service confirmed that British airspace was to reopen from 02:00 pm EDT time on Monday until 08:00 pm EDT.

A no-fly zone would remain over parts of the North Sea, affecting some helicopter flights.

The majority of U.K. airports reopened today with only a few – including some in the Shetland Isles – still closed.

Heathrow and Gatwick were among the airports that had closed late on Sunday (local time) when the volcanic ash cloud moved south.
• Source(s): Sky News / British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp.
Share

16
May
10

Volcanic ash risk and British Airways strikes threaten more air misery

NEWS
Volcanic ash risk and British Airways strikes threaten more air misery
Sunday, May 16, 2010

NEWS••• Travel chaos is set to return to Britain with fresh threats from an Icelandic volcano and of British Airways cabin crew strikes.

British aviation authorities on Sunday reintroduced a no-fly zone over parts of Northern Ireland as the volcanic ash cloud returned to the skies over the U.K..

They also warned some of the U.K.’s busiest airports, including London’s Heathrow, could close in coming days if the ash cloud drifts southwards as forecast.

The return of the ash cloud, which caused the mass closure of British and European airports in April, comes ahead of a planned five-day strike by British Airways cabin crew on Tuesday in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

British Airways will seek an injunction in the High Court in London on Monday in an attempt to stop the strike, which threatens the travel plans of thousands of the airline’s customers around the world.

If the strike goes ahead, it is likely to compound problems caused by the return of the ash cloud.

In Northern Ireland on Sunday, Belfast International and Belfast City airports as well as Ronaldsway airport on the Isle of Man all had flights cancelled until at least 01:00 pm BST (08:00 am EDT).

Britain’s Transport Department warned there could be further disruption across the country until the middle of the week thanks to ash blowing across from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjoell.

The ash cloud is expected to reach London by Tuesday, threatening the cancellation of flights at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports.

Forecasters believe the ash cloud will begin to drift away from the U.K. on Wednesday when the wind direction is expected to change.

Air passengers travelling to and from Britain in coming days are being warned to check with their airlines before heading to airports to find out if their flights have been cancelled.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the government was carefully monitoring the situation and that passenger safety was its main concern.

‘We have taken the decision to publish five-day forecasts as we want airlines, other transport providers and the public to have the best possible information,’ he said.

‘However, the situation remains fluid and these forecasts are always liable to change.

‘NATS – the U.K.’s air traffic services provider – will advise of any airspace closures as and when they become necessary and I urge passengers to check with their airlines before taking any action.’

Meanwhile, Mr Hammond is preparing to intervene in the dispute between BA and its cabin crew in an attempt to avert up to 20 days of planned strikes in the next four weeks.

Mr. Hammond is to hold emergency talks with both sides on Monday.

British Airways insists that 70 percent of flights, will still operate if cabin crew walk off the job.
» Cabin crew will walk out from May 18 to 22, May 24 to 28, May 30 to June 3 and June 5 to 9, which will cover the school half-term holidays and a bank holiday.
» Important information – British Airways Industrial Action, travel to / from Thailand and Volcanic Flight Disruptions
» Check your flight information here: British Airways

• Source(s): U.K. Press & British Airways

Share

12
May
10

Britain’s David Cameron becomes Prime Minister

NEWS
Britain’s David Cameron becomes Prime Minister

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

••• Conservative leader David Cameron has become Britain’s youngest prime minister in almost 200 years, after Gordon Brown stepped down and ended 13 years of Labour government.

Cameron said on Tuesday that he aims to form a full coalition government with the third-place Liberal Democrats after his Conservative Party won the most seats but did not get a majority in Britain national election last week.

The 43-year-old leader said it would be ‘hard and difficult work’ to govern as a coalition but added that Britain had serious economic issues to tackle.

This is going to be hard and difficult work.
Prime Minister David Cameron outside Downing Street

Cameron visited Buckingham Palace and was asked to form a government by the Queen.

Earlier Gordon Brown tendered his resignation to the Queen and recommended that Conservative leader David Cameron replace him as premier.

‘I’ve informed the Queen’s private secretary that it is my intention to tender my resignation to the Queen,’ he said in an emotional statement outside Downing Street alongside his wife Sarah.

‘In the event that the Queen accepts, I shall advise her to invite the leader of the opposition to seek to form a government.

‘I wish the next prime minister well as he makes the important choices for the future.’

The United States has no closer friend and ally than the United Kingdom.
President Obama was one of the first leaders to congratulate Mr Cameron

He added it had been a ‘privilege to serve’ the country and wished Cameron well.

‘Only those who have held the office of prime minister can understand the full weight of its responsibilities and its great capacity for good,’ Brown said.

‘I have been privileged to learn much about the very best in human nature and a fair amount too about its frailties – including my own.’

He also paid a glowing tribute to Britain’s armed forces, which are currently serving in Afghanistan.

Brown was then driven to Buckingham Palace where he is expected formally to tender his resignation to the Queen.

Brown’s Labour came second in Britain’s general election on Thursday which resulted in no clear majority for one party for the first time since 1974, triggering days of negotiations.

Brown said on Monday he was stepping down as Labour leader but Tuesday’s announcement brings the final curtain down on his political career at the highest level.
• Source(s): Sky News / Australian News Channel Pty Ltd. & British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. (BSkyB) / News Corp.
Share

06
May
10

Exit polls make Tories largest party

NEWS
Exit polls make Tories largest party
Tories just short of majority

Thursday, May 6, 2010

••• Britain’s Conservative party is on the brink of claiming back power from Labour in the U .K., based on a major exit poll of voters which predicts a hung parliament.

The joint Sky News/BBC/ITV poll predicted a hung parliament would be the key result from the tightly fought general election, with the Tories falling short of securing the 326 seats they need to form a majority government after 13 years in opposition.

The poll predicted the Tories would have the most MPs in the House of Commons – 307, up 97 on the number elected at the last election in 2005.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s ruling Labour party stood to have 255 MPs, down 94.

The Liberal Democrats, who had enjoyed a surge in popularity during the four-week campaign, would have 59 seats, down four, while 29 seats would go to other minor parties and independents.

While exit polls have a shaky record at predicting accurate election results, if this one proved correct Tory leader David Cameron could lead a minority government.

Even if Labour did a deal with the Lib Dems, such a coalition would still only have 314 MPs and fall short of being able to form a majority government.

If a hung parliament is the outcome of the election, it will only be the first time since 1974 that such a result has been seen in Britain.

Voter turnout was expected to be high across the country in what has been the U.K.’s tightest election battle in decades.
Labour and Tory officials treated the exit poll results with caution, noting that polling booths had closed at 10:00 pm BST (05:00 EDT) just as the poll was being released.

Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said while the poll suggested a strong vote for change, ‘a degree of humility’ was needed at this stage.

‘Exit polls in the past have given us rouge results and we need to treat it with caution,’ he told BBC One.

Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman said it was to early to say what the election result would be.

‘It’s obviously going to be very close,’ she told BBC One.

‘But I think what’s clear is the country needs a strong and stable government to take us through the recession.’

The Lib Dems deputy leader Vince Cable described the exit poll result as ‘very strange’ and noted such polls had been ‘horribly wrong’ in the past.

The Tories led opinion polls carried out throughout the campaign, with Labour and the Lib Dems jostling in second and third places in terms of the popular vote.

However, the complexities of Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system mean that having the biggest share of the popular vote does not necessarily translate into having the most seats.

The exit poll based on surveys of voters at 130 polling stations across Britain by NOP and Mori.

Despite the uncertainty, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – a known supporter of Cameron – said on his Twitter feed he’d already called the Tory leader to congratulate him.
‘Just called @davidcameron to congratulate him on the victory. Even though results aren’t in we know the Conservatives had a great day,’ @Schwarzenegger wrote.

• Source(s): Sky News / BskyB / News Corp.

Share




Calendar

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers

© Copyright 2010 Dominic Stoughton. All Rights reserved.

Dominic Stoughton's Blog