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“Brutish Airways” Advertisement by Unite

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The  photo below is a newspaper ad by a labor union Unite on the Guardian, accusing British Airways (BA) management. Now a battle between BA and Unite, the largest British labor union of which 90% of BA cabin attendants are members, has become uglier (see my past entry). The total of astonishing 20 days strike from May 18 to early June planed by Unite, had been due to start yesterday, but the court blocked the strike on 17th, claiming that Unite had not followed the correct procedure – again, like the last time. Unite immediately challenged the decision, and the appeal court will give a decision on Thursday. Despite the ruling, BA cancelled one in ten long-haul flights and almost half of its short-haul flights from the airport today.

Unite even made a website, http://www.brutish-Airways.com, to accuse BA of ‘bullying’ crew members. According to Unite, “BA carried on a campaign of bullying and victimisation against cabin crew, while Unite negotiated in ‘good faith’ to come to an agreement that both sides could live with.” ” BA is taking disciplinary action against more than 50 crew members who have been suspended on spurious charges arising from the dispute, and seven crew have been dismissed. Thousands of cabin crew and their families have had long-established travel arrangements removed.” “BA won’t listen to their cabin crew staff or to their Unite representatives in order to settle this dispute, and staff are unable to speak out for fear of being victimized or sacked if they do.” On the opposite, BA claims that “the obstacle to the resolution of this dispute is the refusal of this small group of Bassa (British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association) hardliners to accept that the world has changed.”

After Icelandic ash cloud, now the possible big strike – it is another big blow to loss-making BA. It is said that BA would lose £140 million from the strike. For sure there are both sides of the story, but who cares! Take care of your own garbages, without annoying their customers!

* UPDATE: Unite won the appeal and a ban on industrial action was overturned. A series of 5-days strikes is supposed to start next Monday, unless an agreement can be made…

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