No end in sight to BA strike as row becomes political

Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 22:14

London: British Airways (BA) cabin crew
entered the second day of a four-day strike on Sunday, bringing
further travel disruption with no end in sight for a dispute
that has become increasingly political.

The Unite trade union, which represents 12,000 BA cabin
crew, is staging its second walkout in a week and says there
are likely to be more strikes ahead unless BA makes them an
acceptable offer.

Amid conflicting reports about the impact of the walkout,
Unite claimed more than 130 flights had been cancelled by
mid-morning. BA has said it expects 75 per cent of passengers
booked during the strike period to fly.

Just weeks before an election expected on May 6,
opposition Conservative leader David Cameron has used the
strike to attack Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose Labour
party receives much of its funding from Unite.

Cameron told the BBC on Sunday that Brown had displayed
"weakness" in his response to the BA dispute and another
planned strike by railway workers, saying this was "partly
because he`s hocked to the unions".

"The unions have scented weakness in the government and
that`s one of the reasons why we`re seeing quite so many
strikes," he added.

Brown hit back in a separate BBC interview, saying there
had been "far greater industrial peace" in the past 13 years
of the Labour government than there had been in the previous
18 years of Conservative rule.


First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 22:14

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