The Unite union is writing to all British Airways cabin crew, criticising the company’s tactics and highlighting the union’s record on fighting for its members. The move follows BA’s surprise announcement on job cuts, pay deals and working practices. The BA plans are due to be implemented from November 16th.
The letter, signed by Unites’ joint general secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, indicates that crew from both former sections of the union – the TGWU and Amicus – have “already declared for industrial action if imposition of changes occurs”.
“If the threat of imposition is not removed now,” the union chiefs say, “we will have no alternative but to seek an immediate mandate from you in a joint ballot for industrial action.”
The union is urging BA boss Willie Walsh to reach a negotiated settlement, Unite reveals that it will meet with bosses this Wednesday in the presence of dispute conciliators ACAS.
They are clearly upset that BA made an “unprecedented unilateral decision” through the press, without providing unions and staff with any advance notice.
However BA believes that the announcement is part of the cuts that they have been discussing with the union since January. A spokesman said, “We are always available to talk with our unions. But the changes we have announced will go ahead as planned.”