Letter: BA jackboot and Social Chapter

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The Independent Online
Sir: Robert Ayling's attempt (letter, 11 July) to deride Andreas Whittam Smith's condemnation of his company's oppressive tactics beggars belief. Mr Ayling does not deny the truth at the heart of his staff's decision to strike - threats and intimidation.

Management faced with a strike should negotiate, not threaten. Nobody will be conned by BA's portrayal of its own staff as mindless militants. The staff just want to be treated with dignity and respect. Their refusal to be trampled upon is to be applauded.

Nobody can be certain how this dispute will end, but Mr Ayling's company has seen the last of me as a customer. I shall give my business to a company that does not employ the jackboot at the first sign of dissent. BA proves how much we need the Social Chapter in Britain.

STEVEN POWELL

London N7

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