BA suspends 15 in strike intimidation row

British Airways has suspended 15 cabin crew while it investigates claims of intimidation against employees volunteering to work in the event of a strike.

The airline said it would not tolerate staff being intimidated and would thoroughly investigate any reports of employees being threatened.

A BA spokesman said: “A number of staff have been suspended while we carry out investigations. As that investigation is happening at the moment, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

“Inappropriate comments have been posted on a union website and we have asked Unite for their assistance in removing these postings and identifying those individuals who have been involved.”

Unite said it would “vigorously defend” its members against the allegations.

Assistant general secretary Len McCluskey said: “BA has unleashed a cyberspace witch-hunt. Cabin crew have been suspended simply for being a Facebook friend. This is McCarthyism for the internet age.

“This bears all the hallmarks of a management drunk on its own machismo, regardless of the damage done to the airline’s image and reputation.”

Unite is balloting thousands of BA cabin crew for strikes in a long-running row over jobs and pay, with the result due on February 22.

The union could take industrial action from March 1, although officials have ruled out any stoppages over Easter.

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