Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

BA strike: Government accused of failing passengers

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The Conservatives have accused Labour of being unwilling to stand up to the Unite union over threatened strike action at British Airways.

On 16 March 2010, shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers challenged the government over the union's donations to Labour, saying a quarter of the party's funding comes from Unite, whose members are behind the strike at BA.

She asked: "How can the government stand up for the interests of passengers when a quarter of Labour's funding comes from the union?"

But Transport Minister Sadiq Khan said the Conservatives were trying to politicise an industrial dispute.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have spoken out against the proposed three-day walkout on Saturday.

Mr Khan warned that "passengers will be seriously inconvenienced if the strike goes ahead".

But he added: "British Airways is a private company and the resolution of the dispute is a matter for the company and its staff."

Liberal Democrat spokesman Norman Baker said BA's management and Unite were "behaving like two badly behaved children" who were paying little attention to passengers.

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