Unite's victory in appealing against the second injunction given against strikes by British Airways workers was extremely significant. If the injunction had been allowed to stand, it would have served as an invitation to bosses across both the public and private sector to seek court bans against any big strike in their workplace and a message that, no matter how spurious the grounds on which they sought that injunction were, they were likely to have it granted.
Workers’ Climate Action hosted a “critical mass” cycle ride around Heathrow on 22 May. The event was planned to coincide with the British Airways cabin crew strikes.
When activists refer to the “anti-union laws”, we are talking about a whole series of acts brought in by the Thatcher and Major governments between 1980 and 1996, which the Labour government of 1997-2010 did nothing to challenge. Each new act built on its predecessors in often quite elaborate ways to restrict the ability of workers to strike and organise effectively. But what do they actually say?
What’s happening is three things. The first is that in disputes which involve large numbers of workers, the possibility of being able to apply for an injunction based on a failure in the balloting process is that much greater.
On 19 May, journalists at Johnston Press became the latest workers to fall victim of a High Court injunction against planned strike action, on the basis of ballot discrepancies.
It was good news that the court overturned the ridiculous injunction against the British Airways cabin crew strike.
Network Rail bosses’ successful use of anti-trade union laws to undermine a planned strike by signallers was the latest in a recent spate of actions by employers (particularly in the rail industry) that have seen High Court injunctions become a default bosses’ response to any big strike.
Following a two-year fight to make it public using the Freedom of Information Act, ASLEF Executive member Dave Calfe has confirmed what many of us suspected: train operating companies can be compensat
In early December, cabin crew working for British Airways voted — by a huge majority on a massive turnout — for strike action against job cuts and pay freezes. BA management went to court and, eventually, they got an injunction against the strike. The union has now announced a further strike ballot starting on 21 January. But it is a cumbersome process — the earliest BA workers will be able to strike is from the beginning of March!