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Cyber Attack Takes Down Union Website Accusing British Airways of “Betraying Britain”

Cyber Attack Takes Down Union Website Accusing British Airways of “Betraying Britain”

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A top union official claims a website that accuses British Airways of “betraying” Britain was forced offline after being subjected to a cyber attack. Yesterday, the Unite union lit up the Houses of Parliament and other famous landmarks around the United Kingdom with the words “British Airways, Stop Betraying Britain” emblazoned across the iconic buildings.

The so-called “leverage” campaign was launched several days ago in a last ditch attempt to convince British Airways to rescind notices of possible redundancy to its entire 42,000 strong workforce. British Airways says it hopes to complete a mandatory consultation period by June 15 after which 12,000 employees will be permanently laid off and the rest rehired on inferior terms and conditions.

Houses of Parliament, London

Len McClusky, the union’s general secretary wrote in a letter to BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG) on Tuesday that he was now left with “no option but to do all I can to protect my members and shine a light on your betrayal of Britain and your cynical use of this crisis as cover for your corporate greed.”

Some employees could see their wages slashed by as much as 60 per cent under the new proposals which the union described as “smash and grab opportunism”. In the letter to IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh, the union leader urged the airline to “finally step away from the precipice and think again.”

Unite said it would be targeting BA’s key corporate customers including the likes of pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline and the soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola. Big brand suppliers such as Marks & Spencer, the White Company and Temperley London have also been targeted by activists.

The union claims one corporate travel customer has already terminated their contract with British Airways in response to the campaign.

But despite winning the support of a growing list of Members of Parliament, critics have accused the union of being stuck in the 1970s and deploying tactics that will do very little to actually protect its members. Instead, the union has been urged to start negotiating with the airline before time runs out.

A spokesperson for the airline said that despite the campaign it remained “committed to consulting openly with our unions”.

The statement continued: “We are acting now to protect as many jobs possible. The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.

In a further blow to British Airways’ hopes of recovery, the UK government slapped a 14-day quarantine on all new arrivals who arrive in the country from June 8. Walsh told a parliamentary hearing two weeks ago that British Airways would not be able to restart operations in July as planned if quarantine measures were put in place.

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