by Gregor Gall
Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Hertfordshire
The BA dispute in shaping up to be the key union battle of 2010, being on a par with strikes in the engineering construction industry and Royal Mail last year in terms of their significance for the wider labour movement. This is maybe a little odd in that a relatively small number of workers are involved compared to those in the engineering construction industry and Royal Mail. This is a dispute about accommodating to or resisting the ‘race to the bottom’ under the neo-liberalism.
That said the dispute with BA as a employer and organisation has a significance way beyond the number of staff employed – the profile of the dispute is based on BA still being seen as the national flag carrier despite privatisation and the union being able to benefit from exerting leverage because travel cannot be physically offshored and strike action has an immediate and demonstrable impact upon the business’ operations. Continue reading “BA strike: against the race to the bottom”