British Airways Strike Row Turns Political

British Airways says it will fly 60 per cent of its customers if Unite goes ahead with its three-day strike from this weekend. Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has appealed to the Unite union to return to the negotiating table in an attempt to avert the industrial action. The union has planned to begin with a three-day strike from next Saturday, followed by a four-day stoppage from the following weekend. Earlier in a radio interview, Gordon Brown said the planned strikes by BA cabin crew were "unjustified" and "deplorable". Lord Adonis told the House of Lords that "passengers should not be held to ransom" by the union. This angered leaders of Unite, the country's biggest union and one of Labour's largest donors. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne slammed Brown, claiming that the Prime Minister's stance is contradictory. He said: "In the end this is a question of leadership for Gordon Brown. He has to cut off links with the Unite union, which is in effect a party within a party.