On the picket line at BA

Hundreds of striking British Airways cabin crew and their supporters were in high spirits today at dispute HQ – just across the road from London’s massive Heathrow airport. Scores of pickets were on duty from 6am and persistent rain failed to dampen the resolve of the Unite union members, who are fighting to save jobs […]

March 21, 2010 · 2 min read

Hundreds of striking British Airways cabin crew and their supporters were in high spirits today at dispute HQ – just across the road from London’s massive Heathrow airport.

Scores of pickets were on duty from 6am and persistent rain failed to dampen the resolve of the Unite union members, who are fighting to save jobs and their hard won terms and conditions.

Rows of BA planes parked up inside the airport were a clear indicator that the stoppage was biting.

The strikers – who have been under attack from politicians and the capitalist media – were pleasantly surprised by the level of support.

Other airport workers joined passing bus and lorry drivers to toot their horns in support of the pickets.


Firefighters offered shelter to strikers who were stationed near their base, and BA workers not involved in the dispute sneaked out hot drinks to their picketing colleagues.

Supporters from other Unite branches, sister unions and socialist and environmental campaigns swelled the numbers.

A rally was addressed by local Labour MP John McDonnell and Unite general secretary candidate Len McCluskey. Jerry Hicks, who plans to contest the union leadership election, was also there.

The anger of the crowd was focused on BA boss Willie Walsh. He earns £750,000 per annum but is out to cut the pay and conditions of low paid airline workers.

“Willie! Willie! Willie! Out! Out! Out!” was the chant of choice.

The cabin crew were clearly buoyed by the support of other trade unionists.

You can text messages straight to the picket line on 07850 905787.

Visit the strike HQ at Bedfont FC, The Orchard, Hatton Road, Bedfont, Middlesex, TW14 8QT. There’s free tea and cake, a bar, and a big screen to watch the news from elsewhere.

Send the strikers a message of support, or ask for a speaker: office@bassa.co.uk


After the virus: no return to the old economy

As the Covid recession hits, Adam Peggs lays out alternative economic proposals the Labour left should be demanding

In and against, and outside, the party

Following major defeats, the left on both sides of the Atlantic must urgently get stuck into community organising, movement building and political education, argues Joe Guinan

A tribute to Mike Cooley

Co-creator of the Lucas Plan, Mike showed how the immense talent of workers could be deployed for social use rather than private profit, writes Phil Asquith


Build small, think big

Phillip O’Sullivan looks at the role of community energy groups in disrupting the energy status quo

All Eyes on Wet’suwet’en

Suzanne Dhaliwal, in collaboration with Indigenous Climate Action, explains how the struggle to end Canada’s colonial violence is continuing in the face of fossil fuel extractivism

The downfall of Robin Hood Energy

The sale of Robin Hood Energy doesn’t mean public ownership doesn’t work, but that we need to be more ambitious, argues Edward Dingwall

Only fearless, independent journalism
can hold power to account

Your support keeps Red Pepper alive