Open Jaw: 'BA cabin crew were pushed into a corner'

Where readers write back

On 17 December the High Court awarded British Airways an injunction to stop a proposed strike. Many people responded to the comments on the cabin-crew dispute by our senior travel editor, Simon Calder; these are some of comments that arrived in a 12-hour period to his personal website

Everyone is pouring their vitriol on the cabin crew and how they've wrecked everyone's Christmas. It seems odd that so many voted in favour of industrial action. Surely they were pushed into a corner. These are the people who look after our welfare when we fly, whether serving a meal or getting us out of a burning aeroplane in 90 seconds. Would they take this action if they hadn't been pushed to the brink? Maybe Mr Calder should do a little more digging as to what has fuelled this dispute.

HOLLY

You have no understanding of our working environment, what we are trained to do, exposed to deal with, and above all how professional and proud we are to be consistently voted within our field as the best cabin crew in the world. What we are paid to do in our positions is a good, fair wage, which has been fought hard for over many years of consultation and negotiating. We are good, hard-working family people who have mortgages to pay, children to care for, and as British Airways cabin crew we provide first-class service and above all a safe and secure place to travel for our general public. While you are in your warm office or travelling to exotic places around the world, take a moment to think of us, awake all through the night for duty days as long as 14 hours, away from our families over Christmas, birthdays and when loved ones are ill etc. We don't complain about this, we just smile, work hard and do our job very well.

ANON

Your statements on the BA strike and the disgusting spectacle of a High Court judge trying to make it illegal were a disgrace. Why should they accept the crap being flung at them by the man who destroyed Aer Lingus? Why should we all accept a race to the bottom in pay and conditions?

ANON

I do not work for BA but I have a friend who has worked as cabin crew for nine years on long haul.

Willie Walsh is a bully; industrial relations are the worst they have ever been. The imposition he introduced to reduce cabin crew by up to three members is just the first part of a raft of changes designed to cut crew wages and erode their working conditions. BA intends to introduce a new fleet, with crew on new contracts with less favourable basic wages and allowances. Existing crew are concerned that this will be the end of their career and, understandably, are worried for the future. They need to strike to protect their futures. It may or may not be the right thing to have called a strike over Christmas, but they are going to have to strike at some stage.

"MR WHITE"

Where do you get your facts from? Have you been given a nice sweetener from the BA spin department? It certainly looks that way. Most crew are lucky to make £25,000 including allowances. Oh how we will look forward to welcoming you and your family on a flight! Do us a favour Simon: keep your miserable, dreary, skinny gob shut!

ANON

Your views have been totally biased and pro-BA dictatorship management. I hope that if you ever fly BA again the crew will treat you accordingly

ANON

What appalling, ignorant things you said about BA crew. Were you paid by BA? I hope you never fly BA, as the crew I know will certainly make your future flights with them "memorable". My friends in check-in tell me that your bags are already earmarked for the furthest destination they can think of!

ANON

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