'This is Britain, not Burma': Unite Tell Willie Walsh

By Unite The Union, PRNE
Friday, March 19, 2010

LONDON, March 20, 2010 - As thousands of BA cabin crew walk out in their fight against the driving
down of pay and standards at the airline, Unite the union has denounced BA's
fear culture - and demanded that the company remove the gag stopping crew
speaking about the dispute.

Len McCluskey, assistant general secretary of Unite, said:

"Our challenge to Willie Walsh is that he needs to let his cabin crew
speak publicly about the real cause of this dispute.

"Decent men and women are terrified about speaking out about this fight
for their futures for fear of reprisals.

"Isn't Willie Walsh ashamed that his employees are having to speak with
their backs to TV cameras and their voices distorted? That stewardesses are
covering their faces going into meetings to avoid identification?

"This is not just bad industrial relations it's an offence against
democracy. Willie Walsh should remember this is Britain not Burma."

Cabin crew - striking for the first time in 13 years - are extremely
fearful of reprisals from BA's management for taking part in lawful
industrial action, fear that has built up as a war waged against crew has
seen 38 face disciplinary charges. Willie Walsh has also vowed to remove
travel benefits from striking crew, a move that will hit the one in three
crew who commute to work at Heathrow from around the UK.

Crew on strike have gathered at Bedfont FC, Hatton Cross during the three
day stoppage.

For further information, please call Pauline Doyle on: +44(0)7976-832-861.

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