Cabin Crew Conflict: The British Airways Dispute 2009-11

Philip Taylor, Sian Moore, Robert Byford

Research output: Book/ReportBook


In 2009, cabin crew in the BASSA union embarked on a historic, two-year battle against British Airways which was seeking to impose reduced crew levels and to transform working conditions. In the face of employer hostility, legal obstruction, government opposition and adverse media coverage, this workforce, diverse in terms of gender, sexuality, race and nationality undertook determined resistance against this offensive. Notably, their action included twenty-two days of strike action that saw mass participation in rallies and on picket lines. The dispute cost British Airways 150 million in lost revenue and its main outcome was the cabin crew's successful defence of their union and core conditions.

Here, in their own words, Cabin Crew Conflict tells the strikers' story, focusing on cabin crew responses, perceptions of events, and their lived experiences of taking industrial action in a hostile climate. Foregrounding questions of class, gender and identity, and how these were manifest in the course of the dispute, the authors highlight the strike's significance for contemporary employment relations in and beyond the aviation industry.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages224
ISBN (Electronic)9781786804907
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • strike
  • industrial conflict
  • trade disputes
  • trade unions
  • Unite the Union
  • employment law
  • gender
  • women and trade unions
  • British Airways


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