british airways strike: a million christmases ruined?

by David Broder

Don’t ruin a million Christmases: BA chief’s appeal as he goes to court to halt strike (Daily Mail, 16th December)

Cartoon in today's Times

The proposed British Airways strike has brought down an avalanche of media attacks on the airline’s employees and the Unite union. Much as propaganda about “old ladies not receiving their Christmas cards” blighted the Royal Mail dispute last month, again the corporate press and the BBC are blaming Scrooge-ish “union barons” for their lack of festive cheer. But does the wintry weather really excuse a two year pay freeze, cuts in crew numbers and 4,900 redundancies? Not so, said a thumping 92% majority of BA workers on an 80% turnout, a ballot result showing both the level of anger and the desire to fight on to a victorious conclusion, given that the action will go on for a whole 12 days beginning on December 22nd. Continue reading “british airways strike: a million christmases ruined?”

the political impossibility of class struggle in the mind of the bbc

Joe Thorne looks at the media treatment of the recent engineering construction workers’ strikes.

It is perhaps not surprising that the BBC and other mainstream media represented the Lindsey strikes in terms of nationalism, not class struggle. After all, the Corporation’s recent ‘White Season’ showed that, for the BBC, white British working class people are scared, vulnerable, and not a little xenophobic. The strikes – in overwhelmingly ‘white’ areas of the country, but involving many Irish and Polish workers – were therefore understood by journalists and editors unwilling to get to grips with details, as being simply against “the use of foreign workers” in inspiration. Continue reading “the political impossibility of class struggle in the mind of the bbc”