The nightmare is over for a million British Airways passengers after a Christmas walk-out by cabin crew was deemed illegal.
But union leaders say their battle with the airline will go on and the “spectre of further disruption” cannot be removed.
The High Court ruled the Unite union’s strike ballot breached industrial relations law because staff no longer working for BA were able to vote.
“We will certainly re-ballot,” declared Derek Simpson, Unite’s joint General Secretary. “Our members will be absolutely incensed by this. 92 per cent majority. How is it possible for anyone to argue with a majority like that, that they can’t be allowed to take the action?”
Insisting the ballot was conclusive even without the contested votes, Unite has slammed what it calls a “disgraceful day for democracy.”
But BA welcomed the ruling, blocking 12 days of strike action, due to have started on Tuesday. Travel chaos was feared at one of the busiest times of the year.
If efforts to solve the dispute over job losses and changes to working practices fail, the threat of industrial action at British Airways remains real in 2010.