A new ballot of cabin crew at British Airways is to commence soon after Unite informed the airline of its direction, making it the fourth ballot of the workforce at the airline in two years.

Unite claimed that the airline plans to derail the vote in December 2010, which saw crew members vote in favour of strike action by three to one.

It believes there has been “systemic anti-union activity” that effectively undermines negotiated agreements and removes employee benefits such as staff travel concessions, preventing headway in negotiations.

Since the start of 2010, 18 members of Unite have been sacked and a further 70 have been suspended, including one-third of local union leadership, it went on to add.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey told members: “If BA’s management believes that it can secure industrial harmony by these methods it is living in a fools’ paradise. Only negotiation, not litigation or intimidation, can start to heal the wounds caused by this dispute.”

This week, Unite members at Manchester City Council demonstrated their unhappiness at their treatment and the plans to axe 2,100 jobs, as over 80 per cent of them voted in favour of some form of industrial action.
Posted by Michael Ewing