BA strike appeal decision tomorrow

The Unite union will learn on
Thursday if it has been given permission to appeal against a ban on planned
strike action by BA cabin crew.

It has sought to appeal against a
legal decision to grant BA an injunction preventing industrial action.

Unite’s joint general secretary
Tony Woodley had called that decision “an absolute disgrace”.

Three of the UK’s most senior
judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, have been hearing the union’s
arguments.

The reserved judgement will be
handed out at 0930BST. If this finds in favour of Unite, any appeal hearing
could follow almost immediately.

A successful union appeal could see
strikes go ahead later in the month, but if Unite’s efforts fail it says it
will ballot members again on industrial action.

It would be the third such ballot
since November last year, with the first two ballots declared invalid by the
High Court on technicalities.

On Monday, a High Court judge ruled
that Unite had failed to tell its members about the 11 spoilt ballot papers in
the last strike vote.

Unite’s joint general secretary
Derek Simpson added that the union had done its utmost to tell its 12,000
members about the 11 ballot papers: “We posted it on the web, we put
notices on our notice board and we distributed leaflets.”

Brendan Barber, general secretary
of the TUC, said he hoped an appeal hearing was granted, warning that a basic
right to industrial action was at risk.

“The hurdles that are being
placed in their way are now so complex that we’re at risk of seeing important
rights eroded,” he said.

The
legal action by BA came after talks between the airline and Unite failed to
reach agreement.

Although
the two sides have agreed on the cost-cutting measures at the centre of the dispute,
there is no agreement on the reinstatement of travel perks initially withdrawn
from striking staff.

Unite
has also called for more than 50 staff members who have been disciplined over
their role in previous strikes to be reinstated.

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