STRIKING British Airways cabin crew made it clear yesterday that they are determined to win their struggle in defence of jobs, wages and conditions, as they prepared for the next round of strike action which starts tonight.
On the very lively Hatton Cross picket line, with its music, flags and horns, strikers sang: ‘Don’t blame it on the share price – blame it on the Willie!’
A cacophony of hoots of support came from the passing cars.
Strikers used pseudonyms for fear of victimisation.
Caroline told News Line: ‘This five days of strike action finishes at midnight tonight and then we are coming out at midnight on Saturday night for another five days.
‘Our current course of strike action is three sets of strikes – five days on and one day off.
‘We would like more solidarity from the airport workers.
‘Everyone needs to come out in solidarity with this dispute because if we fail in this dispute and right-wing labour laws and the corporate bullies succeed, then it will be a race to the bottom for all workers.
‘We definitely need a general strike.’
David, also at Hatton Cross, said: ‘The way British Airways have treated the cabin crew is an affront to democracy.
‘It is a basic human right to go on strike – Willie Walsh is more of a dictator than a CEO.
‘British Airways doesn’t run by its own policies. In their rule book, under Rule No EG901, you can’t discriminate against anyone and we have taken legal industrial action, with a ballot and they’ve discriminated against us by taking away our travel concession.
‘When the Iberia merger happens 5,000 jobs could go because there will be only one head office.
‘Willie Walsh is due to take over this new company in October – we hope to have finished him off before then.’
Carla said: ‘There are secret talks due to take place this afternoon, but I don’t expect anything to come out of it unless Willie Walsh is prepared to negotiate. I am proud of the way we’ve stuck together.’
John said: ‘We have been placed under extreme provocation and threats.
‘The flights are going with far less crew, a reduced service and reduced safety.
‘We are very angry indeed that the pilots are breaking our strike.’
Carla added: ‘We supported the pilots when they had a dispute with BA in 2008 over attacks on their terms and conditions.
‘We had the sense to see the wider picture of what British Airways were planning to do with their staff.’
John continued: ‘I’ve never been on strike in my life before, but we’ve been forced to.
‘I’ve seen a lot of my friends dismissed and sacked now. As long as Willie Walsh won’t give way, we will carry on with our strike.’