TODAY Unite is announcing the result of its second strike ballot in three months for 13,000 BA cabin crew, which is expected to show a big majority for strike action.
This will be the second big ‘yes’ for strike action.
The first ballot saw 92 per cent of those who filled in ballot papers voting for strike action in an 84 per cent turnout.
BA’s boss Walsh took legal action and a judge came to his rescue, illegalising the strike because ballot papers went out to a few hundred people, at the most, who had left the company, taking redundancy at the request of the employer.
This in no way affected the outcome of the ballot with its huge majority for action, but the judge saw it as his duty to find for the employer.
The Unite union then told its members that they should work the new conditions, and that in the new year a legal action would be held seeking to secure a judgement from the judiciary that the imposition of new terms and conditions of service onto the cabin crew, busting up the agreement that had been made between the union and BA, was unreasonable and illegal.
The judiciary again found for the employer, for basically commercial reasons.
The judge declared that the cuts would bring savings that ‘may contribute to the preservation of BA’.
These two judgements effectively brought out the class nature of the law and the judiciary. This is that when the vital interests of the bourgeoisie are at stake, the law books go out the window, and the judiciary finds for the bourgeoisie.
This afternoon we will have a new mandate for strike action, and there is not the slightest doubt that if Walsh takes the issue before the courts, they will vote that the action is illegal, since it harms the bosses.
Bourgeois legality will be shown, yet again, to be a sham, just anther scenic prop designed to disguise the workings of capitalism.
If this happens, then it is obvious that the game is well and truly up as far as bourgeois legality and the trade unions are concerned.
Such will be the anger of the workers that they may well take strike action – since they are not slaves.
If this happens, the whole strength of Unite and of the whole trade union movement must be used to support any strike action and BA, the law courts and the government must be defeated through a general strike.
If the judiciary are not willing to further expose their class position and a legal strike takes place, the trade union movement must be ready to support the strike with solidarity action, since BA has made no secret that it has done everything possible to mobilise strike breakers to break the strike.
Once again, whichever way this struggle develops, the whole trade union movement must be ready to use its full strength and take action alongside the BA cabin crew to win the struggle.
If the bosses scream that a strike action will drive them into bankruptcy, they must be answered with the demand for the renationalisation of BA , and that it be put under workers control.
If the government will not carry out this policy, it must be brought down by trade union action and a workers’ government brought in.
The truth of the matter is that the bosses and the bankers are trying to drive the working class of the UK back to the conditions and wages of the 1930s, and the days of the Jarrow March.
This is why the workers’ movement must now use its strength to support the BA cabin crew, and act to expropriate the bankers and the capitalists, the motor car industry and the Corus steel works, and all major industries where jobs are under threat.
Above all we must have a workers’ government that goes forward to socialism.