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British Airways blocks strike by Unite
Tue, 18 May 2010 06:15:13 GMT
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BA Chief Willie Walsh/ Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
A High Court ruling in favor of British Airways has blocked the Unite union from a series of four planned five-day strikes on the grounds of a technicality.

Justice McCombe ruled that the union's planned strike was invalid under the 1992 Trade Union Act because Unite had failed to properly inform its members of the ballot result. Though the strike was slated to begin today, Unite has instructed its members to work as they normally would while they are appealing the court's ruling. The union has called BA's actions a "landmark attack" on their right to strike, as 81 percent of the union had voted to support industrial action.

A BA spokesman said, "We are delighted for our customers that Unite's plans for extreme and unjustified strike action cannot go ahead," and Chief executive Willie Walsh added, "This is about securing the long-term future of BA."

According to Unite, however, BA has undermined the union's efforts to make reasonable gains in their contracts. The union stated on its website, "Negotiations have been going on for over a year, but despite cabin crew being asked to make the heftiest sacrifices of all, British Airways continues to provoke cabin crew by imposing changes and refusing to negotiate openly and fairly."

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