David Blackburn

The High Court’s decision on BA concerned law, not politics

The High Court’s decision on BA concerned law, not politics
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The Guardian’s Seumas Milne condemns the BA strike judgement as ‘blatantly political’. He writes:

‘Mrs Justice Cox has made a transparently political decision to skew the balance of power still further in favour of BA's recklessly incompetent management.’

That, as Mrs Thatcher would say, is poppycock. Mrs Justice Cox’s decision was informed by law, not ideology. Unite had balloted ineligible members, which is illegal. That the result of the ballot would not have changed is immaterial, Unite broke the law. In this instance, the legal decision will enable a sensible business plan time to develop. After years of procrastination and painting tail wings, the BA board is realistic about the challenge of survival, their employees are not. BA staff and Unite must acknowledge that the airliner is in a do or die situation. Characteristically forthright, Jeff Randall describes BA’s predicament perfectly.

‘My first job in journalism was as an airline correspondent for a trade magazine. In those days, the early 1980s, a return ticket on scheduled flights from London to European business destinations, such as Milan and Munich, cost up to £400 (more than £1,000 in 2009 money). Today, easyJet will get you there and back for £60-£70. This is the reality to which BA must adapt, or face going the same way as Pan American, TWA and Swissair. With luck, yesterday's court decision, blocking the strike, will encourage the union to get a grip on common sense, before its apparent death-wish comes true.’