Striking nastiness

Not much from me tonight, but here is an interesting story on the current British Airways dispute.
To be perfectly honest, I haven’t paid a huge amount of interest as to what is going on between BA and the Unite Union, but as this is slowly boiling down to workers (and the public) taking sides in what seems to be becoming a personal scrap between BA’s Willie Walsh and Tony Woodley et al of Unite, I’m getting more interested.  

Sky News was reporting some pretty nasty stuff going on and reading the Telegraph article brought back some vivid memories of the 1984 Miners’ Strike. I lived in Sheffield at the time, and the papers were full of the violence that surrounded that strike, not least the infamous Battle of Orgreave on the other side of the city. And yes, again there was that personal element at the top – Thatcher versus Scargill.
But that was the dirty, grimy mining industry and these are the guys that offer you drinks on the night flight to Heathrow. That was 1984, in the rough North of England; this is 26 years on in the shiny corridors of Terminal 5.

So why on earth do I find myself reading stuff like this?

It can be revealed that some female cabin staff braved the threat of intimidation by union workers to go to work as normal yesterday.
Some of those who worked had received threatening emails on Friday night, one of which read: “If any of you go into work tomorrow, your life won’t be worth living.”


There’s obviously more to this than just a row over whether hot towels should be dished out on short-haul flights. With the UK general election around the corner and Unite funding the Labour Party to the tune of £11million, with Charlie Whelan as Unite’s political director and with these ridiculous threats flying around, this is going to be a story worth digging deeper into.

I’m off to polish my spade.

UPDATE: Started reading on the Miners’ Strike instead of the BA one. But there are some thought-provoking and salient lines in there, relevant to the BA dispute:

Those who called the miners “the enemy within” might have won the war, but they did not win many hearts or minds.

Trouble is, I’m just not sure which side they’re relevant to.