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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2011

BA workers vote to fight on

For the fourth time in 13 months British Airways cabin crew have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action. The ballot returned a 78.5% vote in favour of strike action in a turnout of 7,335 members.

Neil Cafferky

Readers of The Socialist will recall the original dispute with British Airways was over the issue of imposition of changes to employment. This strike ballot is around the following issues:

At the time of writing Unite, the union which organises BA cabin crew, has not announced dates for strike action.

Commenting on the ballot result Unite general secretary elect Len McCluskey called for BA management to come to the negotiating table: "Surely BA management must now wake up and listen to the voice of their skilled and dedicated employees.

"This dispute will be resolved by negotiation, not litigation or confrontation, and it is to negotiation that BA management should now apply itself. We are ready."

This call was echoed by BASSA branch secretary Duncan Holley. Banking on management opening negotiations in the face of an overwhelming ballot may explain the delay in calling strike action. Given BA management's past failure to enter into serious negotiations, this may well prove to be a vain hope.

Much of management propaganda in the course of the dispute has centred on the supposed financial difficulties of the company. BA has now returned to profitability and yet it continues to obstruct a resolution of this dispute and persecute trade union activists. It is a transparent case of union-busting on the part of BA management.

Should BA cabin crew decide to take strike action they will have the support of the labour movement behind them once again to defeat this intransigent management vendetta against trade unionism.

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In The Socialist 26 January 2011:


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