Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2010

Support BA Cabin Crew

On Monday 24 May strikers' red flags could be seen flying around Heathrow, but the same could not be said for a lot of BA planes as cabin crew began their latest strike action.

'Brutish Airways' boss Willie Walsh remains intransigent on the issue of discounted staff travel and imposing new and much worse conditions on cabin crew.

But the workforce and union are equally determined. This round of strike action is set to run for 15 days, with three five-day actions with a day's break in between.

The Socialist urges all our readers to build support for the strikers in your workplaces and trade union branches and if possible to make solidarity visits to the picket lines around Heathrow.


Send messages of solidarity to and

After a brief detour through the high court, British Airways cabin crew returned to the picket lines on Monday. BA rejected a last minute offer by Unite the union to suspend the strike in return for a restoration of the staff travel discount. This has been stripped from cabin crew as a 'punishment' for taking strike action.

Cabin crew on the picket lines have a clear understanding that the union is now in a fight to the end with BA chief executive Willie Walsh. This was almost the exclusive concern of the strikers.

Although cabin crew would much prefer not to strike, the glorious sunshine that greeted the first day of strike action helped to provide a good mood on the pickets. Public support remains as high as ever around Heathrow.

The now familiar rows of parked jets were once again in evidence by late afternoon. Amicus cabin crew are claiming that 40% of flights were cancelled on the first day of action and Unite estimates that BA is losing 7 million for every strike day.

Neil Cafferky

Interruption of Acas talks mistaken

The Socialist Party viewed the invasion of Acas talks between BA management and Unite by members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) as completely mistaken. This took place at the end of the SWP-initiated Right to Work Conference on Saturday 22 May.

In an industrial dispute the final decision on tactics to confront the employer must always rest with the workers taking action themselves. Whatever the nature of the deal being negotiated it is not for a group like the SWP to decide to break up talks. A decision to accept or reject a deal is solely the property of cabin crew and their democratically elected representatives.

Support and solidarity

Socialists can assist by sharing experiences and ideas learned in past disputes and by building support and solidarity for the strike among the general public.

This has always been the method of the Socialist Party. We will offer our opinion on the course of a dispute to workers, but we believe that any initiative taken in support of a dispute should be taken in consultation with the workers themselves.

A key task for socialists and trade union activists is to raise the confidence of workers to fight. Substituting themselves for workers in struggle will mistakenly create the impression that a special minority of activists will do the fighting, leaving workers as bystanders.

Workers' dispute

The Socialist Party stands for the maximum control of workers over their disputes. These actions of the SWP are counter-productive. It is the mass action of cabin crew through their union that is the key to defeating Walsh.

Despite this view we are totally opposed to any victimisation of those who mistakenly took part in this protest.

The priority for all workers in the trade union movement now is to support the cabin crew workers against Walsh and BA management.

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

In The Socialist 26 May 2010:

Millionaire ministers butcher public services

Con-Dem cuts - 'only the beginning'

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network conference: Time to organise against con/dem attacks

Support BA Cabin Crew

Socialist Party news and analysis

Royal Mail not for sale

NHS cuts: The Con-Dem sting in the tail

Fast News

Sri Lanka: One year after the war

Socialist Party national committee discusses building the fightback

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for action

Local government: Where's our pay award for 2010?

Fighting university cuts

Workplace news in brief


Young people: organise to fight the cuts

Socialist Party National Youth meeting

School student socialist

'Sussex Six' result

Students must pay, say the rich

Pamphlet: Our Education Under Attack: why a mass campaign is needed

Socialist Party feature

London 2012 Olympics: A big business spectacle

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: 2,500 hear Socialist MEP Joe Higgins declare week of action

Romania: Mass protests against EU/IMF deal

Puerto Rico: Students and workers fight austerity cuts


Education under attack: Con-Dem government prepares for battle

Unions must defend public services

Tory government says rich must pay less


Diane Abbott and the Labour Party leadership battle


Home   |   The Socialist 26 May 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

British Airways:

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

triangleSummer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

triangleTravel chaos for Ryanair customers as airline cancels thousands of flights

triangleBA poverty pay dispute enters new phase of action


triangleNorthern Ireland's strike wave

triangleAnti-academy strikes growing

triangleRoyal Mail workers in the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) supporting a 'yes' vote in a reballot for strike action, at a gate meeting at Leicester Meridian, 25.2.20, photo by Steve Score

triangleUniversity workers' strike over pay, pensions and workload escalates


triangleOpinion: socialists must link climate struggle to power of organised workers

trianglePCS Left Unity must unite on pay and elections

triangleWhy we support Chris Baugh for re-election as assistant general secretary


triangleUnite union executive council elections

triangleLondon bus rep dismissal update

Socialist Workers Party:

triangleTommy Robinson BBC demo: socialist fightback needed to undermine far right

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Packed meeting of workplace militants, strikers, socialists and trade union leaders



University workers' strike over pay, pensions and workload escalates



Housing cuts cost lives



Stop the council cuts



Congress 2020 appeal: Donate to help us renew vital resources



Solidarity with striking university staff



Anti-academy strikes growing


Labour leadership

Council cuts could cost Labour another general election



PCS union relaunches pay campaign



Leicester: We can't take any more cuts, any more misery, and we are fighting back



Coventry: A socialist councillor who will vote against cuts


The Socialist

Socialist sellers



Number of women killed by current or ex-partner rises



Students and workers out together on Budget Day, 11 March


Royal Mail

Royal Mail workers in the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) supporting a 'yes' vote in a reballot for strike action, at a gate meeting at Leicester Meridian, 25.2.20, photo by Steve Score

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

February 2020

January 2020