Open Jaw: 'Walsh wants to crush the unions'

Where readers bite back

British Airways' cabin-crew dispute

Mr Calder, do you work for BA management? I suggest you stick to travel writing. Your anti-worker and anti-union bias is disgraceful and offensive. I'd love to know how much you are paid and what car you drive, you idiot. For your information Willie Walsh [BA chief executive] helped ruin Aer Lingus and now tries the same capitalist boot-boy tactics at BA. Perhaps you have shares in some low-cost carriers you seem to like so much?

Simon Leggett, Dublin

Simon Calder has no car, but rides a Brompton bicycle. The only airline in which he owns shares is BA, to qualify for a 10 per cent discount on flights. He contributes to the airline's 'High Life' magazine, and previously worked as a cleaner in the airline's offices and on board aircraft at Gatwick

Michael O'Leary [chief executive of Ryanair] appeared on TV, shouting at us to get back to work as though he was our boss. Surely as he is wet-leasing his aircraft [chartering them to BA] he would want us to stay on strike? I smell an Irish low-cost conspiracy here. The only ones fighting to save our airline as a premium brand in the global marketplace are cabin crew.

A MEMBER OF BA CABIN CREW FOR OVER 20 YEARS

The best outcome is that BA goes to the wall, and the market takes up the slack, with other carriers offering better service and value for money. Virgin Atlantic and easyJet can fly the flag.

"ASH 1168"

BA is all about corporate raiding: greed, and screwing the passengers and staff. It is about a man who wants to take on the unions and crush them, using claims that BA needs to save money due to competition against low-cost carriers. BA has spent way too much time and effort persecuting a worker for wearing a small cross, spending millions on adverts in the wrong places, making false claims that they are the "world's favourite airline" whilst losing sight of their core revenue stream: the passenger. BA wants to make itself a Ryanair-type product where there are no staff around, everything is automated, no human contact apart from limited contact on flights. They want you to pay for food, bags, check in, calling a high-rate revenue-generating number to make a booking, etc. In that case BA needs to cut out most of the highly paid, useless "managers" as well.

"ROCKET 111"

BA has not used the "world's favourite airline" slogan for some years; the airline's UK reservations line, 0844 493 0787, is a local-rate number

Roar terror in Zambia

Christina Patterson's story was beautiful and vividly written. I could almost picture it as though I was there with her. The thrill is just indescribable – I love the wild.

"DOTA OF AFRICA"

South Downs wildlife

In last Saturday's Travellers' Guide to the South Downs, you said that "reed bunting and hen harriers can be found in wetland areas such as Pulborough Brooks". In fact, hen harriers are very uncommon here. And reed buntings, whilst resident, are often difficult to find. Throughout the year there are scores of birds which are much easier to see and hear. For details, you could see my newly published book Birdwatching at Pulborough Brooks through the Seasons (£9.99), available through sbpublications.co.uk

David Golds, Pulborough Brooks

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
The RBS Six Nations trophy at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Ireland vs England
rugby
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West found himself at the centre of a critical storm over the weekend after he apparently claimed to be “the next Mandela” during a radio interview
music
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?