Thursday, 18 March 2010

Know your rights

I don't understand why everyone isn't in a trade union. And so the coverage of the BA cabin crews prospective strike has left me feeling queasy. While queuing in Tescos I read the front page of the Mail - complaining of the cynicism of the union in striking at a time that would cause maximum disruption. Isn't that the point? What gives strike action its leverage?

The general vibe seems to be how dare they go on strike; s
hut up and be grateful you've got a job. It was gratifying to see David Dimbleby put the Tory on the spot on Question Time tonight with the question of whether strike action was ever justifiable. The whole debate is couched along the lines that it's the union bringing BA to the brink of ruin - with no mention of any responsibility the management might have in all this.

On a more trivial note I only saw this poster produced for the union the other day. If the issue were to be decided on artistic grounds there'd be no contest. It's by the amazing Kitty Finegan.


  1. The only time I've been on TV was as part of CPSA anti poll tax march.

    Love the artwork

  2. The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association? The Coloured Pencil Society of America?

    The only time I’ve been on telly was in the audience for Calendar Reports (they came to our school). There was a panel of three politicians – old boy Joe Ashton (before his Thai brothel raid shame), David Icke for the Greens (just before he really lost it) and a Tory called Jeremy Something (in truth the most convincing panellist). Icke got the biggest cheers – not from me though, I saw through his facile demagogy. I taped it – I might post a clip at some point if I can get to grips with the technology.

    Yes, Kitty’s fantastic isn’t she – slightly deeper pockets required than for Lord Dunsby though.

  3. What's really fucked me off is the way that the media and the Tory party keep going on about the better pay and conditions BA cabin crew get as opposed to, say Sleazyjet or Fly Maybe, as if this were a bad thing. BA cannot think of it's self as a cut above the value airlines on the one hand and then pay their staff peanuts, if anything the wages and conditions for other cabin staff should be on a par with BA not the other way about.
    How much does Willy Walsh get paid?

    I fly once or twice a week for work, not through choice I may add, I have nothing against the easyjet cabin crew they do the job which is expected of them but when flying BA, which is not a regular occurrence I alwayss find them more helpful and they seem that more experienced and for somebody who has a fear of flying like myself it really helps put me at ease.

    Regarding the Union membership, in the late 80's when I dropped out of uni and got a job as an apprentice joiner I was ridiculed for my UCAT membership frequently on the building sites. I never met very many others who were in the union or would admit to it, in fact a large percentage of the guys I worked with voted Tory. We had to endure conditions that would not have been out of place in the trenches of WW1, no toilets, or running water and the bothys where we had our pieces were always filthy and full of rubbish.
    In my present incarnation in clinical research I am one of 3 union members in a organisation of over 50.

  4. That Unite are being vilified for acting in a completely legal and democratic way says a lot about their detractors. Too many people seem to have been tricked into thinking that the cabin crews are anything other than tax paying citizens just like themselves.

    And the Tories, desperately trying to make out that Unite's financial backing of Labour is somehow shadier and more dangerous than Lord Ashcroft's payments to them? One represents over a million citizens and the other represents, well, one man - whose commitment to the UK doesn't actually extend to being prepared to pay its taxes.