THE UNITE trade union leadership announced yesterday that after the cabin crew membership ‘voted last month overwhelmingly, and for the third time, to take industrial action against their employer on a number of issues relating to the company’s conduct of industrial relations’, the union was cancelling the strike action.
The cancellation came after ‘BA launched a legal blitz against the independent scrutineer used to conduct this ballot, the Electoral Reform Society.’
The union added that ‘While not addressing the union directly, BA advised the ERS that the ballot was unlawful and that any industrial action taken on the basis of it would be unprotected. This is merely an assertion by BA – however, the ERS decided, on the basis of protecting its own legal position, to issue a qualification in its official report on the industrial action ballot. Unite therefore cannot call industrial action based on this ballot, since such a move would expose our members to sanctions by a bullying employer.’
The union added: ‘Unite is therefore immediately setting in hand preparations for a further industrial action ballot . . . we would anticipate giving the company formal notice of this fresh ballot within the next ten days or so.’
The third industrial action ballot saw a massive majority for action.
A fourth will undoubtedly show a similar majority for action, and will also see BA threaten to take the union to the courts, as well as making once again its well worn threat to sack all those workers involved.
The Law Courts will then rule that the action is in breach of the anti-union laws and illegal.
The ruling class will have brought in a situation, by courtesy of the union leaders, where workers no longer have the legal right to strike.
Already the coalition government has assured the bosses that it will not allow stoppages of work against government policies. It has stressed that a general strike against government policy would be illegal and a challenge to parliamentary rule, and if necessary it has pledged to bring in new anti-union laws to make sure that there are no strikes against its savage cuts and mass sackings programmes.
The plan is to go back to, or forward, to a new version of the Combination Acts, with the right to strike consigned to the museum. This plan depends on the assistance of the trade union leaders who are more worried about maintaining the unions’ finances than about defending the right to strike, or the right to work, or even the right to free collective bargaining, which even now the Tories are being lobbied by the banks to abolish.
However the British working class have never been and never will be slaves!
Illegalising strikes to keep wages down, while allowing mass sackings to take place and the cost of living to escalate out of control, will lead to massive illegal strike actions, and a challenge to the bourgeois parliament by the working class.
The reality is that while parliament will never be able to abolish the right to strike, the working class has the power to abolish the bourgeois parliament in defence of its right to strike and its basic rights.
The capitalist crisis is now busily creating a revolutionary situation where the working class in order to maintain the right to strike, in order keep its living standards and jobs, will have to fight the bourgeois parliament and to win that fight will have to abolish it, as well as expropriate the bosses and bankers and smash the state apparatus.
Marx revealed the working class to be the grave digger of the capitalist system. The reformist trade union leaders must be removed and replaced by a revolutionary leadership, so that the working class can get on with its historic job.