Messages of support for the dispute

Here is a selection of some of the messages of support that have been sent in to cabin crew by members and supporters of the Socialist Party.

Dear Friends,

I am writing ahead of your scheduled strike to express my solidarity, as well as the solidarity of my party the Socialist Party and our sister party the Socialist Party of England and Wales, for your campaign to defend your pay and conditions in British Airways.

British Airways CEO, Willie Walsh, has a reputation from his time in Aer Lingus of savaging the pay and conditions of workers. He wants to repeat the same again in BA. If management are successful in doing this they will be one step closer to turning BA into a Ryanair style operation with rock bottom pay and conditions for its workers.

It is important for all workers in aviation that a stand is taken. The strike is a beacon to workers in the aviation industry who are opposed to the ‘race to the bottom’ in pay and conditions for workers in the industry.  In my own constituency of Dublin Aer Lingus management are planning to sack 80% of cabin crew and rehire them on inferior terms and conditions. After the relentless cuts of the Walsh era this latest assault underlines the correctness of your decision to fight BA’s impositions.

I applaud Unite’s call for international solidarity action to black BA flights during your strike. International solidarity such as this will be a key factor in winning this battle.

I also would like to condemn the campaign in the media and amongst the political establishment against you over the last number of weeks and days.

If I or the Socialist Party can be of any practical or political assistance during your struggle please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

In solidarity,

Joe Higgins

Socialist Party MEP

Dublin

Dear Brothers and Sisters

You may be on the receiving end of press attacks, but trade unionists back your determined stand.

The press and politicians know want workers to pay for the crisis created by our employers and the banksters. The main thing that stands in their way is us – the trade unions. That’s why they are so vicious in their attacks – and that’s why working people should back the BA staff.

All the best for your action

 Martin Powell-Davies,

Secretary, Lewisham NUT

Convenor, Socialist Party Teachers

Dear Penny & colleagues,

I was in touch with you previously having been kept abreast of your dispute by the Socialist Party in England and Wales. I am an elected Councillor for the Socialist Party in Ireland, and a SIPTU shop-steward in Aer Lingus at Dublin Airport.

I just want to send our very best wishes to you in your ongoing battles with our former Chief Executive little Willie, to defend your jobs and conditions. We are aware of talks being underway, but are operating on the basis that the dispute is still likely to take place tomorrow. We also sincerely hope that the demonstration is a resounding success.

The condemnation of your legitimate campaign by Tory MPs and even Mr. Brown himself, is sickening in the extreme and is so similar to the propaganda war that goes on here, whenever we are in the same situation. The Race to the Bottom in all our terms and conditions is well underway. In the last number of weeks at Aer Lingus, all sections of workers, except the cabin crew group, voted to accept yet another cost cutting plan that would save the airline €74 million. As a result of cabin crew having the audacity to vote No, our Chief Executive, Christof Muller announced a 30 notice of making all the cabin crew redundant, and rehiring only 80%, but on significantly reduced terms and conditions. Brute intimidation and bullying and I’d have to say that the union’s response was a whimpering to try to get the rejected deal back on the table. Talks are underway here today also, and I think they will repackage the same deal and almost force people to vote for it. There is a huge amount of demoralisation with the union.

That is why your dispute is so important. It has given a glimpse that it is possible, and that staff do not have to bow down but can make a stand. The mobilisation of scabs to do your work shows how much is at stake for BA and I’m sure will only serve to steel you even further.

Thinking of you all, saluting your struggle and determination, and wishing you every success.

All the best,
Councillor Clare Daly,
Aer Lingus Ground-Handling

Hi,

 We’d like to show solidarity to the BASSA cabin crew strike. We will continue to carry reports in support of the workers, and challenge the mistruths being carried about the dispute in much of media.

 Solidarity among the British and International trade union movement can help BASSA win the dispute, which is important for all airline workers’ pay, terms and conditions as well as for airline safety.

 Yours fraternally,

Bob Severn

On behalf of The Socialist editoiral and distribution staff

 

 

Dear colleagues

 May I just re-iterate my support and the support of all my trade union colleagues for the brave battle your members are involved in. I support your right to strike 100% and would appreciate being able to physically show my support by presenting a small cheque from Surrey County UNISON branch to your members’ strike fund on the picket line on Saturday morning. If this is okay, please let me know where to come and when.

 Yours in solidarity

 Paul Couchman

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition parliamentary candidate for Spelthorne

Surrey County UNISON Branch Secretary

Surrey County Council Trade Unions group secretary

Dear all at BASSA,

 As a UNITE member and as a member of the Socialist Party I’d like to extend my solidarity and support for your struggle and your pending walk out action. 

 I, like many trade union members across the country no doubt, am disgusted by the Prime Minister’s remarks today, and those of the unelected Lord Adonis before him. How dare he call your brave and principled action ‘deplorable?’ What is deplorable is the fact that Mr Brown and his party continue to take money from our union while simultaneously attacking us and defending the bosses who attack us. What is deplorable is the action taken by management to force you into taking this stand. What is deplorable is the heinous way the court blocked your action in December. 

 Far from being deplorable the action you are taking stands proudly alongside the on-going action of the PCS and the pending action by the RMT as a clear sign that working people are refusing to sit quietly while the bosses attack us and make us pay for their crisis. This is the start of the fightback, and you are leading the way!

 Workers from across the country, unionised and not, are looking to you and are taking inspiration from your fight. Your fight is our fight and your victory will be our victory.

 Fraternally,

Ben Norman 

 Portsmouth Socialist Party & Portsmouth Unite

 

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5 Comments

  1. Full support from the LE 1111 Unite, London Housing Workers, your fight is our fight. It is through your organisation and committment that you have won the wages and conditions. Hopefully from your efforts we can be inspired and rebuild the same organisation and committment in the Not-for-Profit section of Unite which will confront the race to the bottom in wages and conditions.

    Pat Atkinson (Campaign Organiser).

  2. Dear BA Staff,
    You are now facing what the workers of Olympic Airways (IATA code OA) have been through! In the name of competitiveness, OA was cut and slashed while both PASOK and ND (New Labour and Conservative counterparts respectively) governments tried to drive her under, until she passed from public to private interest. When the dirty deed was done the prearranged merge with Aegean Airlines (A3) turned up, thus practically giving away to the bosses the dominant carrier of a country that lives on tourism and transportation, and at the expense of safety, destination coverage, and quality of service.
    Hundreds of ground and cabin crew are now redundant, and denied even the compensation that they were promised by the new government (in the name of “crisis”)! As we speak, numerous OA staff are stranded unemployed at discontinued destinations. For 10 days they have been forced to occupy the State Exchequer, and barricade main streets of Athens, and still they are being toyed about, while being slandered by the 2 main parties and the far-right as “lazy leeches that earn 80.000€ a year”, in order to undermine the solidarity with the rest of the working class!
    Do not wait until things get as bad as for your colleagues in Greece! Ground the planes, its the only thing that hurts them! Our eyes are upon you!
    Yours in solidarity,
    Petros Tzomakas
    worker in greek Travel Industry
    Xekinima C.W.I. (Socialist Party sister organisation)

  3. Thanks for taking the time to post messages of support.

    If you haven’t done so already send them to the cabin crew as well. You can contact BASSA at office@bassa.co.uk and Amicus Cabin Crew at cc89@mac.com.

  4. I am a member of the Mansfield/North Derbyshire branch of the Socialist Party:

    We just wanted to let you know that we support your decision to strike 100%.

    Your struggle, together with the other strikes that are happening at present, is a clear sign that working people have had enough, and it should be a wake-up call for all bosses who think they can cut workers’ pay and conditions and get away with it.

    I’m sure I speak for all the members of Mansfield/N. Derbys. SP in wishing you all well.

  5. I am a Cabin Crew from Argentina, I work for LAN, parnet of BA in Oneworld Alliance, and I am an active member in Aviation Union Network of LAN workers in LAtin America!
    We support BA workers and you are not alone!
    All over he world we are organiseing and globalising soldarity!

    Dina


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