‘It’s bullying management that are the extremists’
Posted by jerryhicks4gs on September 7, 2010
On Saturday, the Sun newspaper published an article about Jerry’s support for the British Airways workers that are resisting attacks on their jobs, pay, conditions of work and their union rights.
As the BA workers are represented by the UNITE union, the issue is clearly one that demands discussion in the General Secretary election campaign.
British Airways management, led by Willie Walsh, has launched a vicious attack on its workforce. It has tried:
- to reduce the number of cabin crew on long haul flights,
- to bring in temporary staff on lower rates to undermine existing employment conditions,
- new contracts for staff that undermine existing conditions,
- to remove travel concessions,
- sacking union members,
- disciplining union members,
- using the courts to stop its workforce taking legitimate industrial action.
This amounts to a union busting operation designed to allow British Airways to push up profits at the expense of its workforce. The stakes in the dispute are very high. Jerry Hicks is aware of the nature of the attacks and the brilliant response of BA workers in resisting.
He is arguing for a strategy that can defend jobs, pay and conditions more effectively.
Below, we reproduce the article from the Sun. It recognizes the significance of Jerry’s position on the British Airways dispute and his campaign for General Secretary.
When asked about the claim that he is an ‘extremist’, Jerry replied ‘it is ridiculous to call anyone that stands up to a bullying management ‘extremist’. Is it extreme to insist that working practices that were agreed by management and union are not dismantled without the support of the workforce?
Is it extreme to demand that the workforce is listened to by managers?
Is it extreme to stop people being sacked for disagreeing with managers? Is it extreme to expect BA to respect our democratic decision to take industrial action?
The extremists in this dispute are British Airways managers and their blatant bullying of a principled and professional workforce.’
Militant vows to widen BA strike
Published: 04 Sep 2010
AN extremist hoping to run the Unite union has vowed to ground BRITISH
AIRWAYS by taking ALL staff on strike.
Left-wing Jerry Hicks told Sun City the current Unite leadership had not been tough enough in the battle with BA boss Willie Walsh.
And he vowed to “bring matters to a head” if voted in this December – by extending the cabin crew dispute to all members, such as baggage handlers. He said: “Seventy members have been suspended by BA, 13 have been sacked.
“This is no longer just about changing cabin crew terms and conditions. It’s about busting a union.”
He continued: “It needs to be brought to a head, to a conclusion.
“With the members’ backing I would extend balloting beyond the cabin crew.”
Mr Hicks claimed BA needs to realise that “browbeating” workers into submission may hand them victory – but would de-motivate staff.
He is one of four contenders to replace joint heads Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley.
Unite has threatened another Christmas strike in a bid to bring the company back to the negotiating table.
British Airways yesterday revealed passenger numbers were flat in August, at 3.2million.
The airline also unveiled its first new long-haul aircraft for 11 YEARS – a £200million Boeing 777.