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Archive for the ‘Unite’ Category

12 July 2010

The NHS white paper is an ‘untested, expensive exercise in political dogma’ that will herald greater privatisation of the health service, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today.

Unite accused the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, of backtracking on a Conservative pre-election pledge that there would be no more major reorganisations of the health service, as the white paper was unveiled.

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10th May 2010

British Airways cabin crew are to hold a further 20 days of strike action following their overwhelming rejection of the company’s offer in a ballot last week, Unite the union announced today (Monday).

BA management failed to offer any new proposals to settle the dispute over the weekend, so crew are to take strike action on the following days:  May 18-22 inclusive, May 24-28 inclusive, May 30-June 3 inclusive and June 5-9 inclusive.

Unite’s joint general secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said: “Passengers and investors alike will be dismayed that British Airways’ management rejected an approach by the union over the weekend, after their offer had been comprehensively turned down by their own employees.

Cabin crew are left with no choice but to take further strike action.  There can be no industrial peace without meaningful negotiations and while management victimises trade unionists and uses disciplinary procedures in a witch-hunt.

The seven days notice period is sufficient time for BA management to do the sensible thing and reopen meaningful negotiations.”

Unite is also intending to hold a further industrial action ballot of BA cabin crew over issues which have arisen from the company’s conduct during the dispute.

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Unite the union cabin crew employed at British Airways have overwhelmingly rejected the company’s offer relating to the current industrial dispute, the union announced today (Friday).

Around 81 per cent of the crew voted against the offer, in line with the union’s recommendation.  There was a turnout of 71 per cent.

Representatives of the crew will meet with Unite’s Joint General Secretaries, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, on Monday to discuss next moves in the dispute.

Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said today:  “BA management should take note of their own employees’ strong rejection of their offer and immediately address the outstanding concerns.

They should make no mistake that Unite is fully committed to supporting our members in furthering this dispute if no resolution is found.”

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Unite the union has begun balloting its 12,000 cabin crew members on the latest offer from British Airways management, with a strong recommendation that they reject the proposal.


In a letter to crew accompanying the ballot Unite joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, outlined three main reasons why cabin crew should vote to reject the offer.

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29 March 2010

Pilots working as cabin crew during the current strike are pocketing an extraordinary £166 per hour – making them the world’s most expensive cabin crew, Unite said today.

The union says that BA has gone to enormous lengths to divert hundreds of pilots from their everyday jobs to work as crew – but with the guarantee that they will still be paid in line with their £120,000 salaries.

In contrast, in a normal working day a BA cabin crew member with five year’s experience would earn only £15,000 or £16 per hour.

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29 March 2010

Unite, the union for BA cabin crew, has announced today (Monday) that it will raise £700,000 from Unite’s branches to support cabin crew in their fight to protect standards and jobs at the airline.

The news comes as the cabin crew take their sixth day of industrial action. The funds will be in addition to the money the union is paying to crew in strike pay.

Tony Woodley, Unite joint general secretary said:

“This is an unprecedented move and it shows that Unite is absolutely determined to give our members all the support they deserve in winning this battle against the BA bullies.

We continue to search for a decent settlement in this dispute but cabin crew are not going to be driven back to work for lack of resources.”

The proposal was agreed today (Monday) by the General Executive of Unite. A mandatory 2 percent levy will be placed on Unite’s branches for the next quarter to support the strikers.

UNITE’s website for the BA dispute can be found here

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by Gregor Gall

Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Hertfordshire


The BA dispute in shaping up to be the key union battle of 2010, being on a par with strikes in the engineering construction industry and Royal Mail last year in terms of their significance for the wider labour movement. This is maybe a little odd in that a relatively small number of workers are involved compared to those in the engineering construction industry and Royal Mail. This is a dispute about accommodating to or resisting the ‘race to the bottom’ under the neo-liberalism.

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