20 May 2010 #Employment
The High Court injunction granted on Monday, preventing the proposed BA strike, gave momentary hope for the 450,000 passengers likely to be affected by the strike.
That hope was dashed this morning when Unite the Union won its appeal and had the injunction overturned. The strike could now begin as early as Monday, with walkouts planned for May 24 - 28, May 30 - June 3 and June 5 - 9 (the latter being dangerously close to the start of the World Cup in South Africa).
The injunction was granted on the grounds of the union`s failure to comply with s.231 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, which requires specific information to be given to those entitled to vote after a ballot has been held on strike action. Unite criticised the High Court`s decision to allow what it considered to be "minor technicalities" to set aside a ballot that was overwhelmingly supported by its union members. In overturning the injunction today, the Court of Appeal is said to have found that Unite had, in fact, complied with its duties under s.231.
Although disappointed with today`s decision, BA intends to implement contingency plans aimed at getting 70% of passengers to their destinations during the strike. The Times reports that the key sticking points blocking agreement between BA and Unite in their long-running dispute over pay, jobs and working conditions, are the suspension of 50 Unite members during the dispute and the withdrawal of generous travel concessions to employees who participated in the March strikes. The March strikes reportedly cost BA £45m in lost revenue. This was compounded by the reported £100m it lost during the ash crisis last month. With its annual results due out tomorrow, which are expected to show a substantial loss for the second consecutive year, striking cabin crew are the last thing that BA needs... and Unite knows it!