Support is increasing from airport unions in Europe, the US and even Australia for the weekend strike by British Airways cabin crews.
BA has organised volunteer crews to keep planes flying, but the strikers’ union Unite is hoping that ground staff and refuelling tanker drivers in other countries will disrupt flights.
In the US, the head of the Teamsters union, James P Hoffa, pledged support.
He said: “We want to act in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in England and we want to be very supportive of Unite and we’re going to explore whatever we can do that’s legal, but most importantly we want people to know that we give them our moral support and whatever material support we can give them.”
BA said it would be illegal for Teamsters drivers to refuse to deliver fuel to its planes.
There are fresh talks underway between BA and Unite but Steve Turner, the union’s National Officer for Aviation the union continued to talk tough after his meeting with Hoffa:
He said: “The dedication and the pride of our members is being undermined right now, in what we believe to be an absolute attack on their professionalism, and that’s completely unacceptable and without a proposal now being put on the table by British Airways, it leaves us in the inevitable position of rolling out a dispute over the course of this forthcoming weekend.”
BA argues the disputed changes are critical for its survival. They include a pay freeze for this year, a switch to part-time work for some staff and one less person in cabin crews on some long-haul flights.