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BA CC industrial relations (current airline staff only)

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BA CC industrial relations (current airline staff only)

Old 21st Jan 2011, 22:50
  #2501 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942

I think they will offer a much more in depth service this time around because I think all the VCCs have had more training now and have flown on flights with real crew in the interim while keeping their licence recent. So I anticipate that they will be doing hot food and a proper club service this time on the World wide flights. On E/F we did our usual service last time and on all the flights I flew on we had actual cabin crew not VCCs

Plus I think more crew will turn up this time. Last time VCCs were being sent home because cabin crew did come in and this time more cabin crew will turn up.

I actually think that most people would not even realise there was a strike.
On some of my flights some of the foreign passengers asked me when the strike would be taking place. I looked at them and said it is happening today but not all of us are striking and they had not even realised!! One Gold card holder told me that he had flown 5 times during the strike and had not even noticed anything. In fact things went smoother than usual if anything.
Betty girl is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 22:53
  #2502 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Posts: 644
Most of our training is done on-job.
And let's be honest - so is ours.

In terms of the service, we're taught next to nothing 'in school'.

And even after safety training, which is somewhat regimented, things seldom follow the ideal course of action taught in Cranebank.

I agree with you in that I don't want to get into a tit-for-tat chat about whose job is more/less important/menial, but along with our pilots, I think ours is perhaps the ONLY job where the actions you take in a split second during which you're under immense pressure can have such a major impact.

And I think it takes years of flying to feel truly confident that you can handle these situations.

As a former travel agent and ground-volunteer (during snow), though, I'd agree again that getting a plane in the air is an effort from a team far, far deeper than the cheaply produced pin-striped uniform.
Eddy is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 22:58
  #2503 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942

Don't start picking on lovely Eddy. He was not saying that anyone is more important, he was just saying, unwisely maybe, that you reap what you sew and that in his view it was not a good idea to offer to do someone else's job, in case the table turn on you.

Lets not get into a debate about, if it is a good idea or not please because it is a personal thing for those that did volunteer and all of them did it for different reasons, some enjoyed it and some hated it. Some regretted it and some are pleased they did it.

Lets leave it at that. Please.
Betty girl is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:01
  #2504 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: M3 usually!
Posts: 492
I was thinking of volunteering to learn how to load containers so I could work on the ramp if required, one of the lady TRMs in FCO does it regularly! And I have always fancied a go on the push-back tug whizzing around with a 747 in tow! Not fancying the honey wagon at all though it probably is better than answering complaints in Customer relations! There are many other jobs in BA where volunteers could be useful not least the terminals. Now that we've gone down this route, I think we should all be able to multi-task. We could start by training some volunteer de-icing teams - those we really need!

May I just suggest that the VCC's start reading those manuals! On a recent flight one of your colleagues had a close encounter with the 767 door handle while trying to disarm the door unassisted! PPPPP!

Last edited by ottergirl; 21st Jan 2011 at 23:18.
ottergirl is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:08
  #2505 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Surrey
Posts: 71
Agreed - but how much of your total flying over the past, say 5 years, required these decisions?
1%? 5%?

In many other jobs - the on-job experience is required as a minimum.

In CC - the minimum is the safety standards to operate doors, evacuate, use equipment and react correctly to medical and fire emergencies etc.

While I'd agree that an experienced crew member is more likely to have had issues in the past and therefore the experience to deal with them - I'd say it's a smallish percentage of the whole CC workforce. Thankfully - full blown emergencies are rare. Side effect being that not everyone sees them or experiences them.

No-one knows how they'd react in a life threatening situation at 30,000 feet until it happens. Whether VCC or a crew member with 5-10 years experience that has been lucky enough to have not been involved yet.

Now - if you are talking about on-board service - different matter and I'd agree 100% that neither VCC or anyone can do the job without on-job training.
My point is that there are few jobs in other departments where you can do ANYTHING without on-job training. Legal minimums don't exist.
You might know how to use a Maintenance Manual for example - but there aint no course that will tell you how to apply it. Well, there is to a point, but as I said before, it takes a few years to learn enough to know.
Spanner in the works is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:13
  #2506 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942

You don't need to worry because no one could ever fill in as an engineer. You are totally right. You can be sure that there will never be VCC Engineers.

We just do happen to be in a job that anyone could do to some degree to get the company through a situation like this.

I don't think many other jobs could be so easily filled as you say. No one could learn check in or be an Engineer as you say.
Betty girl is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:23
  #2507 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Surrey
Posts: 71
Edit: this response was to your post a couple above.

Sorry Betty - I do respect your points and views and have done over the decades this thread has existed.

But you want to leave it there! Thanks but I don't.

Eddy raised the point that folk like Wonkaside and MM have been making for a while.
"Your next"
"All your roles will be filled with volunteers - see how you like it".

I have the utmost respect for the CC role - not least since I have done the course and a few flights. It's the hardest thing, mentally and physically together that I have ever tried and completed.

But - when it comes down to it -to suggest that any Engineering strike could be back-filled by volunteers is plain ridiculous. We are not all "database typists" or double-entry book-keepers. My God, and there was me thinking that the word "Engineer" automatically pictures a greasy oik with a spanner in the hand!
While I love the fact that folk know it is not - the sheer differing levels of skill-sets across the Engineering board (and other departments, but I can;t speak for them) makes any possibility of VEng, well...impossible.

I'm not sure why Eddy is going down this - "be careful, you might be next route".
Surely the danger of VCC was always in-mind with mass industrial action. My colleagues and myself were talking about it 20 years ago.

It's not putting anyone down - just making the point that an employee group that can be replaced by other folk with 3-4 weeks minimum training ought to be careful when bluffing a poker hand.
One day - your hand might get called. It was.

I think CC had a battle to fight. A genuine one that would have garnered support from many folk across BA. But the battle they chose was the wrong one. And now we are into striking over issues absolutely nothing to do with the original.
And the battle that should have been fought has become a minor skirmish caught up and brushed aside by the BA tanks, almost as a side-issue.
That to me is the saddest part of the whole thing. And the blame for that sits squarely with BASSA and Unite.

Edit: And I will leave it there! Sorry if I come across as a bit off. Just a bit peed off with this result.
Spanner in the works is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:24
  #2508 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Gatwick
Posts: 28
Works both ways

If you can learn the art of Revenue Management or even better still, Revenue Accounting in anything less than six months then please go ahead. It is not data imputting - it is protection of revenue and in many cases, it is poorly paid. In BA, much of it has been sent to India so those jobs (and staff) have gone. One incorrect assumption in a particularlar market, peroiod (i.e. Easter) or even individual flight can lose a fortune almost overnight. Some of the highest paid staff at the Locos are the Revenue Management team as they can kill an airline so quickly.

In two airlines I worked for and I am sure that it goes for others, it was commonplace that when a female CC member became pregnant and could no longer fly, they were brought into the office to undertake admin duties. Given the size of one of my employers, that meant a permanent supply of "temps" thus preventing us employing permanent full trained staff. It does work both ways. I know this is a different scenario to the current BA situation but the reverse has happened before.

Chin up - it will be over some time
mastafreighter is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:27
  #2509 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Windsor
Posts: 21
Before we all get into a heated debate over which jobs we could all do with a few weeks training, would it not be beneficial to return to the topic in hand, namely BA CC Industrial Relations and in particular the recent ballot result ?

On that point. It strikes me (no pun intended) that it is interesting that Len McCluskey was making less strident noises about strike action and in the past few days Unite have been talking more about a work to rule or 'guerilla action'. Not to sure what is meant by the latter term, but it sounds like the branch executive playing fast and loose with the member's interests to me. If the union call a strike but all turn up for work, what does that do for them ? Apart from make them all look like a bunch of charlies. If there is a code word that will be passed around the union membership that signifies 'turn up for work' , what happens when the line of communication breaks down and some members don't get it and fail to report for work ? This is not protecting members, it is putting their livelihoods at risk. The union is obliged to give 7 days notice of any strike action, has 28 days from the ballot result to give notice of any strike action and then only 12 weeks in which to conduct any walk outs. The legal process doesn't prevent them from taking off the cuff action, but such action would be deemed unofficial.

It is high time that Unite looked at these ballot figures and realised that they are now very much in a game of diminishing returns. Better to cut a deal now when you have a slender majority of support from members than to let it roll on and see that support eroded further.

One final thought. I noted that at the BASSA meeting at Kempton, members were urged to re-elect Lizanne Malone to the Unite executive. I thought that Duncan Holley had stated publicly that both he and Lizanne woud be retiring in October this year. So how come she is standing ?? Or was Duncan telling porkies.
Fender Strat is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:29
  #2510 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942

OK Spanner,
I'm off to bed now but please do remember that Eddy, Ottergirl and me are not in the union anymore and did not strike. I know your all upset because I am too.

It really is not nice walking in to T5 in uniform on a strike day!!!

Although it's nice when you get into the CRC and the aircraft. Actually strangely nicer than normal because you are working with like minded crew.

Anyway Stay safe.
Betty girl is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2011, 23:30
  #2511 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Surrey
Posts: 71
I know - and I think we all want the same thing.
Spanner in the works is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2011, 04:24
  #2512 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: leafy suburbs
Posts: 308
So the figures of the ballot are out.

The thing that has struck me about CC disputes of now and the distance past is that despite the majority voting for a strike, only a handful ever have.

I have commented in the past that BASSA are still stuck in the seventies. In the seventies, if the majority of a union voted to strike then everyone went on strike - give or take a few (even those that voted no!)

So, in the modern world union members take a bit more control of their lives, if they vote no, they come into work, thus splitting the effectiveness of their union. This has been so apparent in this dispute.

The union are playing a game here. They are holding on until things get better in the company and then use that as an excuse that jobs, conditions etc. need not be changed. (this was suggested at the start of the dispute by some PPruners)

The union have now backed themselves into a corner. This dispute needs to be settled. The way to settle now is for the company to give the 90 days notice with a new contract - the union certainly do not seem to sensibly settle this dispute - (based on the one offered to the non union members) This will at least close the book on the story. (of course with many books you get a sequel, but not too soon in this case hopefully!)

So to the figures.

The majority of elegible union members have voted to strike. FACT!

The FACT that is reduced from previous ballots is irrelevant, it is a majority.

Statistically (lies, damned lies and statistics...) Of all the CC community, less than 50% are commited to strike action. These figures cannot and should not be used as an excuse that there isn't a majority for a strike.

How many times have you read that a company that has many unions for one group of workers, in a strike ballot, have had one union not voting for a strike? Admittedly not often but it has happened. This is the same with the CC, though of course the non union members are the group that are not going on strike.

Apologies if this is a bit dis-jointed and any clarification needed, I will try to provide.

What I do agree with the majority of posters here is that most of the cabin crew I come across in my job are friendly and pleasant. I could probably count on one hand (maybe 2 at a push) the number of rude cabin crew that I have come across. And to be clear, I meet them everyday at work.
keel beam is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2011, 06:49
  #2513 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: in a house
Posts: 131
the ONLY job where the actions you take in a split second during which you're under immense pressure can have such a major impact.
Ops Control?

Care to add any more?
essessdeedee is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2011, 07:02
  #2514 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: in a house
Posts: 131
Is there any point of this action?

BA have achieved the cost savings target for IFCE! - Fact

Mixed Fleet is in, all cabin crew are working to the compliment reductions for over a year. Fact

Cabin crew appear to be striking to get ST back, which would never have been removed had they not gone on strike in the first place. (already partly given back, with a full return in a little over 2 years)

BA have not moved from the last offer made to TW. Fact

Is it now safe to assume that this next action will be unprotected? And will the union leadership advise its members accordingly?
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Old 22nd Jan 2011, 08:00
  #2515 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Canterbury
Posts: 420
I voted YES. The ballot result presents a vote in favour of a strike. I agree that the support for an IA has gone down and I know that a strike will not have too much of an impact on BA's operation. Striking crew, MF crew and VCC will replace us. We all know that.

When I joined BA it was a requirement, above an GCSE, to be fluent in at least one European language. I was able to present four foreign languages. Some may say that I'm "overedcuated". The point is that it's extremely saddening when management says that even trained monkeys can do our job. It really proves how much they appreciate what we're doing. Some of us have been with BA for a long time, personally coming up to over 17 years, and really given them everything.

Can I afford to strike? Not really. I really struggled financiially after the last strikes and for the first time in my life I had to pay my bills using credit. Do I live a wealthy live? Anything but it. But, what can I do when BA is wanting to get rid of me? It's sadening to hear "colleagues" saying that we are replacable and that our job is not a career. It's not fair and very rude.

We are not all selfish crew wanting to destroy BA.
MissM is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2011, 08:10
  #2516 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Top of the stack.
Posts: 5
Is it now safe to assume that this next action will be unprotected? And will the union leadership advise its members accordingly?
IMHO, Yes I believe this action is unprotected which maybe why UNITE have not declared strike dates. On the previous occasions the union have been pretty quick to announce these dates. I know they have 7 days now to do this and I really hope they reconsider their position.

As for your second question they have a moral obligation to advise their members that their action would be unprotected but I think that they will sincerely believe the opposite and so they won't.
India Sierra is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2011, 08:28
  #2517 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Top of the stack.
Posts: 5

Is the reason you voted 'yes' because the "management" believe "trained monkeys" can do your job, or because of the staff travel issue??

I too have worked in BA Engineering for over 20 years and have seen my job 'dumbed down' by the regulators.
The requirements all those years ago to become a LAE with CAA Section 'L' licenses were much more stringent than the EASA Part 66 licences we all have now.

It's not the management to blame for your predicament regarding job qualifications; it's EASA and the CAA. It is the regulators who decree the minimum qualifications for our jobs and any good management would start recruiting people who met those quals and pay them a salary commensurate with those quals.

Sadly change is part of life. British Airways is constantly evolving and we all have to change with it. If we don't we will only get left behind..........
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Old 22nd Jan 2011, 08:56
  #2518 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Posts: 644
Originally Posted by Essessdeedee
Originally Posted by Eddy
the ONLY job where the actions you take in a split second during which you're under immense pressure can have such a major impact.
Pilot?(my red)
Ops Control?

Care to add any more?
Some very convenient quoting there.... What I actually said was :

Originally Posted by Eddy
but along with our pilots (my bold), I think ours is perhaps the ONLY job where the actions you take in a split second during which you're under immense pressure can have such a major impact.
And I have to disagree that split-second decisions are as important in these roles as they are for Pilots and Cabin Crew. In Engineering, for example, there's often time to realise a mistake has been made, if at all. And there's usually time to rectify it.

Onboard a plane during an emergency, if you freeze, you cost lives (potentially).
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Old 22nd Jan 2011, 09:01
  #2519 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 326
We are not all selfish crew wanting to destroy BA
But that's exactly how you're actions are perceived.

So, if you want to destroy our livelihoods, then we have to fight back.

You are clearly unable to provide an intelligent and reasoned analysis of why you voted YES.

Can you blame BA and its supporters for wanting to be rid of troublemakers like you?
The Blu Riband is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2011, 09:09
  #2520 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Planet Moo Moo
Posts: 1,258
In Engineering, for example, there's often time to realise a mistake has been made, if at all. And there's usually time to rectify it.

Ummmmm, not if that mistake has been taken airborne there isn't! Couple that possibility with the tight turnaround times and the wish of the company, passengers and crew to get the aircraft away I would humbly suggest that the engineers role is, at times, very pressured, safety and time critical to all of us who fly.

Irrespective of all of the 'my jobs more critical than your job' playground speak I think this could be a very telling time for those who choose to support IA. Len McKlusky wanted a yes vote, it is his first big show in his new (secure) job and he wants the ability to spout his rhetoric to the press.

This is now no longer about imposition, Mixed Fleet, pay or conditions. This is now, according to the press from various sources, about the CC community wanting their toys back after their tantrum.

As always I feel deeply sorry for all of the crew who have been led down the garden path by these self centred individuals on the BASSA board. Let them take the first step across the fence at Bedfont on day 1 and see what happens.

As alway, good luck!
Wirbelsturm is offline  

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