BA claim more staff will cross picket line at weekend
March 24th, 2010 by elisa

Chief executive Willie Walsh has said this weekend’s strikes, which is predicted to have 12,000 members walking out , will affect less passengers as he thinks more crew are willing to cross the picket line so fewer flights will be cancelled.

 “As a result of the numbers of crew wanting to work, we are increasing significantly our flying schedule and will be operating a full schedule at Gatwick and London City airports.” He said.

At Heathrow, BA wants to fly 70% of long-haul and 55% of short-haul flights.

Unite’s joint general secretary Tony Woodley rubbished the statement, saying the schedule “had more holes in it than a Swiss cheese”.

This week has seen unlikely support for BA from Ryanairboss Micheal O’Leary who agreed to lease three planes to the carrier during last weekend’s strike and will lease more this weekend. O’Leary, who known for his refusal to have any dealings with unions, branded Unite’s Woodley a “dinosaur” stuck in the seventies. He told The Telegraph: “BA is in financial difficulties. It has an enormous pension deficit. But at the top of the trade union movement in the UK they have a lot of old headbangers clinging on to the 1960s and 1970s.”

Industrial action appears to be a recurring theme across the country, with an Easter rail strike on the cards, Lufthansa staff planning a four day walkout in April and TAP striking this weekend over pay.

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