Thursday, 18 March 2010
Left surprisingly quiet about BA strike.
In almost any industrial dispute that involved a management strategy of engineering a strike in order to break the back of an organised workforce as a prerequisite for sweeping changes in the industry; in that kind of scenario you would expect the left to be jumping up and down like enraged chimps. So how come relatively little time is being devoted to the struggle going on between BA cabin crew and the hard nosed management of Willie Walsh? For the Green Left of course the problem is one of taking sides in an industry that they fundamentally disapprove of in the first place. For others of a more "old left" frame of mind the workforce themselves may be part of the problem - cabin crew are not everyone's idea of horny handed sons of toil. The fact is that Walsh sees the only viable future for BA as being a low cost airline staffed by a low cost and necessarily non-unionised workforce. Management are gambling on being able to goad the staff into striking and with the aid of especially recruited scab labour break the will of the strikers. Cabin crew will then be able to apply to join the (much reduced) workforce in the new cheap and cheerful, New York for a tenner BA. The whole thing stinks and I reckon that trolley dollies are as worthy of support and solidarity as any other worker. I wish them well.