The Prime Minister has stepped in to try and resolve the BA strike as the beleaguered airline goes to the High Court today to seek a last-minute injunction.
Gordon Brown revealed he has spoken to Transport Minister Lord Adonis this morning and pledged that the government would do “everything it can” to resolve the dispute, which is due to start on Tuesday (December 22), reports The Times.
Brown said he was very worried about the prospect of the 12-day walk-out which will severely affect people’s holiday plans over the Christmas period.
Speaking to The Times, Brown said: “I am very worried about this and that is why I talked to Andrew Adonis, our transport minister, at six o’clock this morning.
“We are agreed that the different sides in this dispute have got to look outwards and not inwards, they have got to think of the passengers that they serve, they have got to think about the future of their company.”
The airline goes to the High Court at 2pm in an attempt to halt the strike. However, observers believe that even if it is successful crew will simply not turn up for work next Tuesday.
In a statement, BA chief executive Willie Walsh said: “We are absolutely determined to do whatever we can to protect our customers from this appalling, unjustified decision from Unite.
“We do not want to see a million Christmases ruined.”
“It cynically went ahead with an extreme, highly publicised threat to our customers and our business in the knowledge that it might not be able to carry it out.”
He added: “We remain available for talks with Unite at any time without preconditions.”
The strike rests on changes in pay and conditions for BA’s crew, but does not affect current staff just new recruits.
It also centres on the removal of one cabin crew from every long-haul flight.
BA’s argument rests on the legality of balloting cabin crew who have already accepted voluntary redundancy.
Meanwhile a number of airlines have stepped in to help passengers stranded by the industrial action.
A statement from bmi said: “bmi will do all we can to assist passengers who have been caught up in the dispute.”