Unite warns British Airways strike threat still looms despite High Court ruling

Unite union has warned the threat of British Airways (BA) strikes is not over, despite the High Court ruling yesterday that their proposed 12-day strike next week was illegal.

BA took Unite to court to seek an injunction against the strike after accusing the union of balloting staff who had taken voluntary redundancy, and so were not eligible to strike.

The High Court ruled in the airline’s favour and said there were “serious and substantial irregularities” in Unite’s strike ballot.

But the union’s leaders were said to be consulting lawyers last night and warned that if a negotiated settlement was not reached with BA they would hold a second ballot for strike action in the new year.

Unite joint general secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said: “We will of course be studying the judgment, but the fact remains that this dispute is not settled. Passing the buck to the courts to do management’s job for them was never going to be the answer.

“BA must accept that there can be no resolution except through negotiation, failing which there will inevitably be a further ballot for industrial action.

“Given the clear mood of cabin crew about management’s imposition of changes on their working lives, this means that the spectre of further disruption to the company’s operations cannot be removed. Only a negotiated agreement can do that.”

The High Court judge refused Unite the right to appeal, but said the union could apply directly to the Court of Appeal, the Times reported.

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