UNITE co-leader Tony Woodley stated yesterday that it was not possible to get an agreement with BA and cancel the BA cabin crew strike actions, since BA boss Walsh had actually put a worse offer on the table that could never be put to the membership and which he knew would be rejected.
He added that agreement was not possible because Walsh was looking for a war, and wanted to wage a war to smash the unions, and trade union terms and conditions of service.
In fact, Walsh is only one of the servants of a ruling class who is determined that it is going to be the working class that pays for the current capitalist crisis.
When asked if the union could win such a war, Woodley replied to the effect that this was a war that nobody could win, there would be no winners.
This is where he is wrong. Walsh is in this struggle to win it. He is determined to destroy forever the wage levels and the terms and conditions of service that trade unions have won in the last 50 years.
His driving force comes out of the world crisis of capitalism and its law of the jungle, that only the fittest are going to survive the crisis.
The world crisis of capitalism dictates to the British capitalist class that it must turn the UK into a slave labour state by destroying the jobs, wages, conditions and basic rights of British workers, in order to undercut its rivals and survive.
The requirements of the working class are the opposite. It must defend its gains with every ounce of strength that it can muster and organise a leadership that is at least as ruthless and as class conscious as the enemy.
It must be a leadership that fights to win. This means defeating Walsh and the other bourgeois advocates of civil war, and then going forward to a workers government in the UK, that will expropriate companies such as BA, nationalise them and put them under workers’ control to lay the basis for a socialist society.
Winning this struggle against BA requires a union leadership that will bring the entire membership of Unite out the moment that BA uses the first scab crew, and will urge the trade unions internationally to ground the entire BA fleet.
It means mobilising along with the rail workers, the civil servants, the steelworkers, the motor car workers and the health workers to organise for, demand, and force the TUC to call a general strike to bring the Brown government down to bring in a workers government.
Trade unions leaders will say that this is illegal action and must not be carried out – we must be law abiding and submissive.
The situation has, however, gone well past this. After all the judiciary have twice thrown the law books out of the window when they declared the first ballot illegal and then ruled that Walsh could impose new terms and conditions onto workers, ignoring negotiated agreements, because the survival of BA as a commercial enterprise was at stake.
These were ruling class judgements in the interests of the ruling class by ruling class judges.
The working class must realise that what counts from now on will be strength and the willingness to use it against all those who, backed by the state and its legal eagles, want to make the working class pay for the crisis.
This is why there must be a general strike to bring down the government and to go forward to a workers government.
This government will carry out socialist policies and get rid of crisis-ridden, bankrupt, out-of-date capitalism, and bring in a system of planned production to satisfy people’s needs that will lead the way to socialism.
This is the way forward.
The working class must win this war with Walsh and the other representatives of British capitalism and go forward to socialism.