Unite is expected to launch a new waves of strikes against British Airways as it prepares to take a fresh ballot. Unite is serving notification of a ballot after further talks at ACAS floundered.
The union is demanding the full reinstatement of the staff travel scheme for strikers as part of any agreement. BA has made almost no concessions on the issue of the concessionary travel ban and other victimisations of strikers. These victimisations are BA's tactics for punishing staff for exercising their right to strike.
Unite's general secretaries Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson have referred to the victimisations as “new items of dispute”. While the shift in focus of the dispute onto attacks made during the previous waves of strikes is a reflection of the feelings of many workers who feel these direct assaults more keenly than potential changes in contracts, it will be unfortunate if Unite allows the issues underlying the dispute – Walsh's attempt to break the union by effectively casualising and de-skilling British Airway's cabin crew workers – to disappear from the agenda.