Who is winning the battle at British Airways? The union, or the company? Both are claiming victory over the weekend’s strike. The union, Unite, says support has been solid, while BA claims 11,000 turned up for work as normal and it reinstated flights it had previously thought would never take off.
But another strike is scheduled for later this week, and one group that is certainly not winning is Britain’s governing Labour party.
Unite is the party’s biggest financial backer and has agreed to bankroll the upcoming election campaign to the tune of five million euros.
“This strike is unnecessary, its damaging to the company, to its employees, and to the travelling public and it needs to be resolved. We still have the threat of another strike coming up, and that its absolutely imperative that the 2 sides sit down and talk,” says finance Minister Alasdair Darling.
The opposition Conservatives, despite criticisms of the strike from Darling and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, say Labour is being held hostage by Unite and is incapable of ending it. For the moment negotiations appear to be deadlocked.