31/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 08:04

BA cabin crew strike ruled illegal

Category: England

Published: 18th Dec 2009 08:50:00

British Airways (BA) has said it is "delighted" the high court has ruled threatened strike action by cabin crew is illegal.

The airline had gone to court with the aim of getting an injunction against the union Unite’s plan for strike action over Christmas; BA said the ballot of members was not carried out correctly, including union members who no longer worked for BA.

The injunction means the 12-day strike cannot now go ahead, which will be a welcome relief to a million passengers who were threatened with having their Christmas travel disrupted or even cancelled all together.

Unite called the court’s decision "a disgraceful day for democracy" and vowed to hold a fresh ballot of cabin crew.

In a statement from the airline, BA said: "We are delighted for our customers that the threat of a Christmas strike has been lifted by the court.

"It is a decision that will be welcomed by hundreds of thousands of families in the UK and around the world.

"There was never any need for a strike and we hope that Unite will take this opportunity to reflect before deciding its next steps. We believe the public would want that too.

"In recent days, we believe Unite has formed a better understanding of our position and of the ways in which we could move forward.

"It has also become very clear that our customers do not believe that old-style trade union militancy is relevant to our efforts to move British Airways back toward profitability. Financial success is essential to build the kind of business our customers want and provide long-term opportunities for our staff."

While Unite’s joint general secretaries, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said: "While we have never wanted this dispute, it is a disgraceful day for democracy when a court can overrule such an overwhelming decision by employees taken in a secret ballot.

"The fact remains that this dispute is not settled."

BA had taken the union to court citing a breach of the 1992 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act as illegal.

The walkouts were due to take place from December 22nd for 12 days, and were prompted after the airline made job cuts and froze pay. But the BA has said cost-cutting measures were imperative to keeping the company’s head above water, after suffering heavy financial losses since the global financial crisis began.

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Birmingham Wired, 2009. BA cabin crew strike ruled illegal [Online] (Updated 18th Dec 2009)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/6087/BA-cabin-crew-strike-ruled-illegal [Accessed 31st Jul 2014]

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