Talks between British Airways and union leaders were brought to an abrupt end when protesters stormed the meeting.Dozens of demonstrators from the Socialist Workers Party breached security at the London offices of the conciliation service Acas.It is not known how much progress was made in the last-ditch talks aimed at averting strikes by cabin crew.The latest strikes follow a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and working conditions.
Footage of the demo at BBC
*The real reason the negotiations came to an abrupt end:
Willie Walsh is his determination to destroy BASSA (within the Unite Union) refuses to give back staff travel concessions to cabin crew at British Airways. He also refuses to reinstate activists sacked during the dispute.
“British Airways cabin crew will begin the first of their planned strikes this morning after last-ditch talks failed to achieve a resolution. Earlier the Unite union made an 11th-hour offer to call off the strikes if the airline reinstated staff travel concessions.
After a day of deadlock, Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite, emerged from his London headquarters to say the industrial action due to start at midnight would be suspended if BA’s chief executive Willie Walsh gave way on this issue. As Tony Woodley says: “In a sign of good faith I am making this offer: Willie, turn around and reinstate our people’s travel without the unnecessary vindictive removal of their service and this union will call off tonight’s strike and suspend the action to allow us to conclude the other issues that we were making good progress on yesterday before we were so rudely interrupted,” Mr Woodley said. “Reinstate the travel now and those strikes scheduled tonight will be suspended.”
BA meanwhile accused Derek Simpson, joint leader of the union, of giving a “running commentary” by sending tweets throughout the negotiations. While Mr Simpson’s tweets fell silent yesterday, amongst his last posts he wrote: “If I have to apologise to Willy over twittering then I shall … But I am not afraid of saying what is really going on.”