Almost three out of four members of British Airways cabin crew have witnessed or been victims of bullying, the country’s biggest trade union has claimed.
Unite said a survey of almost 2,000 of its members at the airline revealed that a culture of “bullying and intimidation” had taken root in the wake of the bitter dispute which remains unresolved.
The cabin crew are currently being balloted again over whether to launch a fresh wave of strikes in the long running row which started over cost cutting but now involves other issues including travel concessions removed from workers who have taken industrial action.
Unite said most of those surveyed were cabin crew members, claiming they have been deliberately targeted by BA’s management to try to “break” them and their union in order to drive down terms and conditions.
The union said the study revealed “shocking” levels of bullying, warning that this could harm the business, adding that in recent months, around 70 cabin crew have been suspended and 14 sacked.
The union said the survey showed that almost one in every two workers at British Airways had been bullied, while 72% had either been bullied or witnessed bullying at work. Over half said they had been bullied by higher managers and almost a third by their line manager, and most of those complained said nothing was done about it.
Unite’s joint general secretary Tony Woodley said: “This survey shows that the company’s macho management has pitched colleagues against one another.
“BA management’s need to do a corporate u-turn and sit down with Unite representatives to address this bullying epidemic. That begins with lifting the sanctions imposed on over 6,000 cabin crew who took action last year and immediate agreement that a third party will analyse those cases where workers have been disciplined or dismissed, often on the flimsiest of pretexts.”
Mr Woodley accused BA boss Willie Walsh and the BA board of “ruining” the airline by its “war” on the workforce, adding: “You have the power to end this misery and restore this airline to the place of public affection it once deserved. For your customers, shareholders and workforce, the glaring question now is why you choose not to.”
The result of the ballot of Unite 10,000 members is due on January 21.