THERE were lively picket lines around Heathrow Airport yesterday, as the British Airways cabin crew took their 11th day of strike action in defence of their jobs, wages and conditions.
Talks in a secret location between Unite and BA bosses broke down after six hours on Wednesday and are due to resume today.
The strikers were in very high spirits, raising flags and cheering passing cars as they hooted their support.
At the Hatton Cross picket line a Swissport worker told News Line: ‘I work on the airport and I’ve brought doughnuts to Hatton Cross and cakes to the fire station picket.
‘I think Willie Walsh is doing a terrible thing. He’s ruining a wonderful airline and the reason he’s doing it is that he’s trying to destroy the union.
‘I am a member of the same union and I’m very angry indeed.
‘I am also angry at what the pilots are doing, breaking the strike.’
Cabin crew on the picket line used pseudonyms for fear of victimisation by BA.
Spencer said: ‘If everybody in British Airways came out, it would bring this struggle to a head and we would win very quickly.
‘The members of all the unions must challenge their leaders to stop any strike breaking and support the strike.
‘Walsh is determined to break the union because it is such a strong union.
‘Walsh is destroying this company. He’s got to go.
‘When I joined British Airways 16 years ago I was given a contract which I signed and I don’t see why it should be torn up now just so that Walsh can put us all against each other in a race to the bottom.’
Susan added: ‘It’s terrible. Now Walsh is threatening to sack us all.
‘Workers have the right to strike. It’s a sign of desperation that Walsh is challenging our right to strike in the court.’
Samantha spoke to News Line at Bedfont Football Club, the strikers’ Heathrow base, about reports that BA could return to the courts.
She said: ‘Walsh is getting worried now. He is clutching at straws.
‘Walsh is not trying to solve the problem by going to court. Even if we have to ballot again, we will still vote to come out.
‘Even with the first injunction over a technicality people wanted some kind of resolution to the dispute.
‘By him outlawing the strike, it would not change the way we feel. We would still vote to come out again.’
Geraldine said at the Hatton Cross picket line: ‘Willie Walsh is running scared.
‘He is desperate to stop our strike and he is prepared to spend millions at the Supreme Court to overturn the judgement by the Master of the Rolls.
‘It is to put the frighteners on us.’