The union that represents 30,000 of the British Airways’ 40,000 employees, Unite, has accused the Airline of trying to “smash” the union. Unite is now going to bring more of its members in to support the efforts of the cabin crew. Should all ground staff walk out along with cabin crew workers then British Airways could not continue to operate.
The cabin crew went on strike for 22 days earlier in the year. The Airline still was able to operate throughout the strike. Most of the crew came from volunteers from other areas in the company during the strike. Should another strike occur as Unite is threatening it would not be possible for the Airline to operate.
Now Unite is upset over British Airway’s intention to collect complaints from passengers about crews who make remarks about their jobs, striking, or adverse remarks about British Airways. They have asked their call centre to collect the information and then management will review the complaints. This is seen by the union as a way to discipline workers unfairly and to lessen the strength of the union. For this reason Unite is hinting that a full walkout could be possible while still offering to work with BA.
Mr. Woodley said: “This is no longer a matter for BA cabin crew alone. If trade unionism is smashed among cabin crew, then we can be sure these methods will be extended to other groups of unionized BA employees.
“It is now clear that agreed procedures are being abused for purposes of trying to destroy trade unionism among cabin crew.
“It was my view from the start that this, not cost reductions, was BA’s real agenda and looking at the company’s recent actions unfortunately I have been proved right.”
A BA spokesman said: “We have been available for talks at every stage, and continue to remain in contact with Unite. We remain committed to working with the trade unions and have already agreed deals with Unite, on our pensions plan and with our engineers represented by the union.”