Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 9 June 2010

Determined BA cabin crew ready to reballot

Industrial action by BA cabin crew is in the final block of five days. BA chief Willie Walsh may have imagined back in November there would be a quick sprint to victory for management. In reality this dispute has turned into a marathon.

Neil Cafferky

Every strike day produces big crowds at the strike HQ at Bedfont football ground. Day after day the efficient picketing rota system means cabin crew are well placed to outlast management.

Despite BA's much hyped contingency plans, it is clear Walsh has underestimated the determination of cabin crew to defend their union.

Another piece of management hype that has taken a beating during the course of this dispute is the idea that Walsh is a skilled negotiator.

Rather than engage in serious negotiations, Walsh has only ever played three cards: intimidate the workforce into scabbing on cabin crew, blame Bassa (the main cabin crew union branch) for a failure to reach an agreement and run to the courts to overturn democratic strike ballots.

Hopefully an agreement that protects the interests of cabin crew can be reached by the end of the current round of strikes. However given the kamikaze determination of Walsh to destroy the union this seems unlikely. Now that the 12 week window of strike action allowed under the anti-trade union laws is closing, Unite are correct to reballot for further strike action. Judging from discussions on the picket lines, another majority in favour of strike action seems very likely.

The demonstration in support of the strike called by Unite at Heathrow on 9 June is a good initiative and will help to spread support.

Cabin crew have shown time and again that they have the stomach for a protracted battle with management. The reballot will give the crew time to consider ways of shortening this dispute. It is of critical importance to campaign to extend it beyond cabin crew to other parts of the company.

The new conditions Walsh has introduced into any new deal, such as changes to the 1948 Redeployment Agreement and renegotiating trade union facility time are changes that will affect every worker and trade unionist at the company.

A call for no changes to the Redeployment Agreement could be the basis for other sections of the BA workforce to move to 'failure to agree' and begin preparing for strike action.

A good start would be for cabin crew to invite all trade union reps across the company to a meeting to discuss defending terms and conditions and combating intimidation of union activists. In this way workers at BA can present a united front in the face of BA management. There is no contingency plan of Willie Walsh's that can deal with that.

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

In The Socialist 9 June 2010:

Reject these brutal cuts

National Shop Stewards Network

Come to the NSSN conference unite the fightback!

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Why public sector cuts are not inevitable

Socialist Party news and analysis

Marches show opposition to Israeli state terror

Determined BA cabin crew ready to reballot

EDL thugs sent packing from Cardiff

EDL protest stopped in Swansea

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

CWU ballots BT workers for strike over pay

Unite conference - union at the crossroads

Wales TUC - rank and file delegates support socialist fightback

Socialist Party youth and students

Future of cuts a nightmare for youth

College campaign success

Socialist Students national meeting: Preparing for a student fightback

Youth Fight for Jobs open steering committee

Lobby Iain Duncan Smith at his surgery

Socialist Party youth meeting: ready to build a fightback

Socialist Party feature

Soccer World Cup 2010: South Africa, the ugly backdrop to the beautiful game

Environment and socialism

Oil spill shows hazards of the profit system

Bhopal - little justice 25 years on

News and comment

Will the Lib Dems survive coalition?

Bradford murders and prostitution


Home   |   The Socialist 9 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleWorkplace news in brief

British Airways:

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

Trade union:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!


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

triangleBin strike: council humiliated in court battle - but war isn't over yet

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice