Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2010

Support BA Cabin Crew

On Monday 24 May strikers' red flags could be seen flying around Heathrow, but the same could not be said for a lot of BA planes as cabin crew began their latest strike action.

'Brutish Airways' boss Willie Walsh remains intransigent on the issue of discounted staff travel and imposing new and much worse conditions on cabin crew.

But the workforce and union are equally determined. This round of strike action is set to run for 15 days, with three five-day actions with a day's break in between.

The Socialist urges all our readers to build support for the strikers in your workplaces and trade union branches and if possible to make solidarity visits to the picket lines around Heathrow.


Send messages of solidarity to and

After a brief detour through the high court, British Airways cabin crew returned to the picket lines on Monday. BA rejected a last minute offer by Unite the union to suspend the strike in return for a restoration of the staff travel discount. This has been stripped from cabin crew as a 'punishment' for taking strike action.

Cabin crew on the picket lines have a clear understanding that the union is now in a fight to the end with BA chief executive Willie Walsh. This was almost the exclusive concern of the strikers.

Although cabin crew would much prefer not to strike, the glorious sunshine that greeted the first day of strike action helped to provide a good mood on the pickets. Public support remains as high as ever around Heathrow.

The now familiar rows of parked jets were once again in evidence by late afternoon. Amicus cabin crew are claiming that 40% of flights were cancelled on the first day of action and Unite estimates that BA is losing 7 million for every strike day.

Neil Cafferky

Interruption of Acas talks mistaken

The Socialist Party viewed the invasion of Acas talks between BA management and Unite by members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) as completely mistaken. This took place at the end of the SWP-initiated Right to Work Conference on Saturday 22 May.

In an industrial dispute the final decision on tactics to confront the employer must always rest with the workers taking action themselves. Whatever the nature of the deal being negotiated it is not for a group like the SWP to decide to break up talks. A decision to accept or reject a deal is solely the property of cabin crew and their democratically elected representatives.

Support and solidarity

Socialists can assist by sharing experiences and ideas learned in past disputes and by building support and solidarity for the strike among the general public.

This has always been the method of the Socialist Party. We will offer our opinion on the course of a dispute to workers, but we believe that any initiative taken in support of a dispute should be taken in consultation with the workers themselves.

A key task for socialists and trade union activists is to raise the confidence of workers to fight. Substituting themselves for workers in struggle will mistakenly create the impression that a special minority of activists will do the fighting, leaving workers as bystanders.

Workers' dispute

The Socialist Party stands for the maximum control of workers over their disputes. These actions of the SWP are counter-productive. It is the mass action of cabin crew through their union that is the key to defeating Walsh.

Despite this view we are totally opposed to any victimisation of those who mistakenly took part in this protest.

The priority for all workers in the trade union movement now is to support the cabin crew workers against Walsh and BA management.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 26 May 2010:

Millionaire ministers butcher public services

Con-Dem cuts - 'only the beginning'

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network conference: Time to organise against con/dem attacks

Support BA Cabin Crew

Socialist Party news and analysis

Royal Mail not for sale

NHS cuts: The Con-Dem sting in the tail

Fast News

Sri Lanka: One year after the war

Socialist Party national committee discusses building the fightback

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for action

Local government: Where's our pay award for 2010?

Fighting university cuts

Workplace news in brief


Young people: organise to fight the cuts

Socialist Party National Youth meeting

School student socialist

'Sussex Six' result

Students must pay, say the rich

Pamphlet: Our Education Under Attack: why a mass campaign is needed

Socialist Party feature

London 2012 Olympics: A big business spectacle

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: 2,500 hear Socialist MEP Joe Higgins declare week of action

Romania: Mass protests against EU/IMF deal

Puerto Rico: Students and workers fight austerity cuts


Education under attack: Con-Dem government prepares for battle

Unions must defend public services

Tory government says rich must pay less


Diane Abbott and the Labour Party leadership battle


Home   |   The Socialist 26 May 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

British Airways:

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

triangleTravel chaos for Ryanair customers as airline cancels thousands of flights

triangleBA poverty pay dispute enters new phase of action

triangleBarts strike: Keep up the pressure on Serco and the trust!

triangleThree London strikes coordinate demos


triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleHackney school cleaners strike

triangleHome care workers to strike


triangleAfter the Unite elections - now turn outwards

triangleTUSC: SWP suspends participation in England/Wales

triangleDebates on building the anti-Trump movement


triangleMini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

Socialist Workers Party:

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Sudan: Free Mohamed Satti



Women rally defiantly



Red Mary - a Force of Nature



Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences



Packed Newham meeting against academies



Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation



Heating scandal on east London estate



Undercover policing legal challenge



No to the Woolwich monster block



Workplace news in brief



PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership



Hackney school cleaners strike



RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue



Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages



We must fight all council cuts!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle22 Jan Women rally defiantly

triangle22 Jan Red Mary - a Force of Nature

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



January 2018






















Platform setting: = No platform choice