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.
After a petty legal skirmish earlier in the week, it was not certain whether a Flying Bike Picket would actually be picketing anyone. In the event though, the mass was a colourful and musical display of creative solidarity and highlighted the current threat to our collective right to strike.
The bike were covered in slogans such as “Not the Courts, Not the State, Workers should decide their fate!”, “Abolish the Anti-Trade Union Laws”and “Environmentalists want to defend the right to strike!”.
The mass’s first stop was British Airways HQ, where a local resident, who used to work for BA and lost his three-year-old child to aviation pollution, called on the workers inside to support the cabin crew and fight their bullying boss Willie Walsh.
At Terminal 5, BA workers on smoking breaks seemed pleased to accept our playful display of solidarity. Then the critical mass left the road and entered the terminal building, swerving past dismayed security staff. We cycled past the check-in desks, demanding protection of the right to strike.
The mass visited other parts of the airport and the surrounding villages to spread its message of solidarity and dissent, while simultaneously slowing traffic at every turn.
The critical mass is currently an effective and creative way to show your solidarity in a workplace such as Heathrow airport; it allows you to be mobile, avoid security and express dissent in a fun and inclusive way.
It is likely that WCA will host another cycling picket, and you’re all welcome to come too! Join us!