Unite BA Pilots Union to Respect Trade Union Principles

Dépèche transmise le 23 janvier 2010 par PRNewswire

LONDON, January 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Unite the Union today warned the British Airlines Pilots Association (BALPA) that it was not acceptable for it to take a "neutral" stance over its members being used as possible strike-breakers in the dispute between British Airways and its cabin crew.

And the two major unions at BA - Unite and the GMB - have issued a joint statement warning all BA employees that if they take up the company's offer to become strike-breakers in the event of renewed industrial action between cabin crew and the airlines, they will be putting their permanent jobs at risk.

The warning to BALPA follows a statement by the pilots union that it would take a neutral position on any of its members volunteering to work as strike breakers in the event of strike action being taken in the dispute over the imposition of changes to cabin crew numbers and working conditions. Unite is balloting over 12,000 cabin crew members on industrial action, with the result expected on February 22nd.

Unite Joint General Secretary Tony Woodley said today: "It is not acceptable for trade unionists to act as strike-breakers in a legitimate industrial dispute, nor for pilots to use their privileged position to undermine much lower-paid trade union colleagues.

"Still less is it acceptable for their union - BALPA - to declare themselves neutral over strike-breaking. This is a clear breach of basic trade union principles, and I will be raising this matter urgently with the leadership of BALPA and with the TUC."

The joint statement by Unite and the GMB, sent to all BA employees in the two unions, warns them that if they volunteer to act as strike-breakers, they will be sending a message to management that the airline can operate without them doing their regular job.

Len McCluskey, the lead Unite negotiator with British Airways, said today: "Anyone volunteering to do the work of striking cabin crew members has to ask themselves - when the next round of job cuts come, have I flagged up my post as superfluous?

"Of course, management will make all sorts of promises, but can a management that imposes changes to contractual conditions and spends much of its time thinking up ways to denigrate professional and loyal employees really be trusted?"

CONTACT: For further information, please contact Pauline Doyle on+44(0)7976-832-861


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