Hi - I'm a cabin crew volunteer (not a pilot), due to report for standby for the first time today. Over the last 48 hours I've been in contact with many of my volunteer coleagues, and they inform me that very few of them were allocated flights due to regular crew reporting for duty.
I hope to be able to update later, when I've seen for myself what's really going on!
A lot of volunteers have been reporting for their rostered flights and been replaced by regular crew as they arrive. Cabin crew have been instructed to report for their original rostered duties (or they'll be "on strike") and are being placed on standby to depart on the next appropriate trips.
Some volunteers have flown but most have not been needed. Pilot volunteers are being stood down first so you have more chance of flying than they do.
From FT.com - a subscription website hence the quote rather than a link.
As the airline and union traded claims about the impact of the strike, Tony Woodley, Unite’s joint general secretary, said he was trying to contact Martin Broughton, BA chairman, to help end the dispute before a second four-day stoppage next Saturday.
Mr Broughton told the Financial Times last night he had no intention of intervening “because Willie Walsh is doing a great job” and the entire board supported him.
“The ball is in Tony Woodley’s court,” Mr Broughton said.
What effect is all this really having on our business?
I have been closely watching a staff travel round trip opportunity to the USA, outbound on 2nd April, returning 17th April. Over the past 5 days here's what has happened (fact!):
The 2nd April departure continues to book healthily, as I would expect, with a net addition over 5 days of more than 50 passengers. Conclusion: customers are sticking with us when they know there will definitely NOT be a strike.
The 17th April departure is dead in the water. Net increase in bookings is too embarassing to be told. Conclusion: while strike threats continue with uncertainty, customers are no longer willing to take a chance.
My take-out: if we can get this nonsense behind us quickly then we still have a business. If it drags on.....................who knows?
Had another go at working last night. Reported mid-evening for XXX (Africa) and the CRC was pretty busy (100+ cabin crew and 50+ groundstaff / managers). Everyone seemed in a good, but slightly reserved, mood with most just talking more quietly than usual. I got the impression that this was sort of in recognition of the severity of the situation and the underlying tensions. Many crew worried about the reaction of striking "friends" when they found out.
Spoke to a few managers and support staff. They said that the attendance figures were slightly better than yesterday (55% vs 52%) but that they had no chance of predicting how many crew would turn up for each flight. For example, only 3 turned up for Saturday's HKG (lucrative trip) whilst some of the African destinations (not lucrative) had almost full complements. Work that one out!
Anyway, we had more than enough cabin crew, so 3 of us were reallocated duties (back to the hotel for me) and one volunteer pilot was sent home - with 3 of them operating. I left just before the briefing started for real and as there was no CSD or PSR, the most senior crew member was asked to work up - with no notice. I hope she was ok as she looked a little shell-shocked.
So, I add my voice to those than can confirm that crew are coming to work and that things seem to be running well. One thing that I think is a shock to the crew that do turn up is that all the B777's are going with 8 crew only due to the reduced service and need to man as many flights as possible. I could see the stirrings of "but we can't do that" in the eyes of one or two but then acceptance seemed to kick in and no-one actually voiced an objection.
Finally, crewing are waiting until literally check-in time to see how many crew have reported and then allocate / send home the CC and volunteer pilots as required. This takes up 10 minutes of your normal briefing time.
As HF as said it's a bit hit and miss...I operated a Long Haul Flight to a Top Secret destination a long way from Heathrow yesterday..none of the volunteers ( a mix of pilots and groundstaff) were bumped, they were all used - and judging by the passenger comments on disembarkation they did a very good job.
I hope that if you do get "used" you get a good trip.
For example, only 3 turned up for Saturday's HKG (lucrative trip) whilst some of the African destinations (not lucrative) had almost full complements. Work that one out!
Self explanatory, I suspect!
A lucrative HKG, probably completely crewed by more senior cabin crew, who are more likely to be staunch BASSA supporters, attempting to play BASSA's game. My guess is that the majority of the no-shows will have 'pulled a sickie'. Unfortunately, whichever way you look at it, strike or sickie, they have shot themselves in the foot - by-bye lucrative anything! As 'BASSA believers' they may just have relied on the obvious (to everybody else) nonsense coming from the Unite/BASSA camp, and it will now come back to bite them.
The African destinations will have more of the junior cabin crew, who are facing a rapid realisation that BASSA's remit is to look after the senior lot, to the detriment of all others. These junior personnel are used to doing the non-lucrative trips, so no big deal for them, and they have probably seen through the juvenile bluster that pours weakly from the Unite/BASSA camp.
It seems to me that if BA think they can run an almost full program with minimum crew on each jet then they WILL wipe the rosters of all the crew that have been on strike. When news of that gets out, very few will strike next weekend IMHO.
The board's strategy is as much about culture change in BA as anything else.
Unfortunately for the individuals concerned, IMHO those who have not backed BA will not be coming back to work at BA.
I agree, I have no problems with it being posted on these sites, but its hardly an unbiased vote when some posters on the Bassa/Crew Forum have posted instructions on how to clear the cookies on your computer and vote again and again!!
And again, those who have been on strike are already being re-rostered for duties after the strike is over (Phase One, atleast).
Perhaps you could expand on that for us? I have heard some rumours that striking BA staff would not be allowed to return to work between the the 2 sets of strike dates. Haven't seen it confirmed by the company, but it has been hinted at.
Do you know if strikers from this weekend are being rostered to work within the 4 days (Tuesday to Friday) between the announced strike dates? Or is this for after the second 4-day strike period? Those that have been confirmed as strikers, or currently 'sick', are going to have a devil of a time getting to work if they use BA flights from other parts of the UK, or Europe, or further afield.
It will be interesting to see whether BA cancels staff-travel tickets, issued prior to strikes being announced, for those strikers and sickies hoping to travel this week or next! I suspect BA probably will.
... but its hardly an unbiased vote when some posters on the Bassa/Crew Forum have posted instructions on how to clear the cookies on your computer and vote again and again!!
Sadly, this sort of 'underhand' behaviour is becoming known as the modus operandi for BASSA and Unite die-hards. They appear incapable of doing anything above board. With their case being so weak, one can perhaps understand why, but that doesn't make it right. Dishonesty has, and is, being revealed at many levels amongst the tub-thumpers.
Public opinion IS important. If the perception is that UNITE are winning the battle then it will embolden and encourage them. People who are undecided about whether or not to strike may well be swayed into inaction by this perception. The opposite is also true. If enough people are persuaded to stay away then UNITE will win and BA will be grounded.