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The BA Union Thread I

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The BA Union Thread I

Old 17th Mar 2012, 14:02
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Out and About
Posts: 267

I don't recognise the name though.
Which sort of goes to show that having a name is pretty worthless unless the named person is known to you.

If GMB have a desire to represent BA CC then I would like them to make a formal, full and open offer to each individual to do so. At the moment all one can do is read the basic info on their website and/or communicate with them via the email or phone. Imagine if the 1000's of potential members all start asking questions and all subsequently get individual replies ... very messy and unclear. What is needed is for GMB (or any other union who wishes to do so for that matter) to make us an offer. That offer would have to clearly define what they would do, and how they would go about doing it. The current website, although quite informative still deals in generalisations and a degree of "union-speak".

Two statements on the GMB website jump out at me:

1) "We will ensure our members have a safe and healthy working environment".

No, you won't ENSURE it! The most you can do is work with the company to try and achieve it.

2) "In these difficult times of economic hardship, job security is a must for our members".

To me, that's an obvious, and consequently worthless statement, in the context that it has been made.

It's a catch 22 I suppose. Who wants it more, CC or GMB?

It's unfortunate that (like when joining a new company) one would have to actually join the GMB in order to really find out how it functions and what it can, or cannot do.
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Old 17th Mar 2012, 15:23
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942

If it is crew defence, arn't they more militant than BASSA or have I got that wrong.
gotcuk please can you confirm if this has been set up by crew defence and how can BA have recognised you so fast. I thought you had to acquire a certain number of members first before you can be recognised.

I am interested in joining a good union but I really need to know what I would be joining.

To be honest I would be happy to belong to Unite, I just don't want to be any part of BASSA.
Betty girl is offline  
Old 17th Mar 2012, 16:57
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
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If it is crew defence, arn't they more militant than BASSA
Yep!!! That was my understanding as well. It may well be the same group that disrupted the BASSA xmas do, shouted out at meetings, etc.

They are clearly very angry with the BASSA leadership about the way it has led the dispute but will that make them great reps? We already know that the BASSA team are furious with them, they (Bassa) have distanced themselves from the fund raising and challenged CD to account for the money raised and contribute it to the 18x fund.

So what we need to know is what changes they hope to bring to their style of union representation. My feeling is just to watch from afar and see how it plays out. Bit more info here
ottergirl is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2012, 02:10
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 33
Pprune by its very name is the melting pot of rumour and this one is VERY juicy, given it’s timing.

The Mods could consider it irrelevant to Pilots but I beg their indulgence, as our communities are intertwined, as are our relationships with our Companies and Unions – look at BALPA and IPA.

Firstly, let’s consider the post dispute landscape.

BASSA and the IFCE Leadership Team have successfully managed to move forward, despite a number of road blocks and red flags, as Keith Williams and Len McCluskey have indicated in their joint statement. This sends a clear signal to both sides that we can be confident in a stable, productive future which puts our customer back at the heart of our business.

Why then, you may ask, would Betty Girl be interested in joining a rumoured GMB backed Cabin Crew Union, which is not recognised under the Settlement Agreement? Why would they not want to join BASSA, given their stance in the dispute, why would they even feel the need to be a member of ANY Trade Union?

I am sure the clinical psychologist the Company brought in to assist in settling the dispute would have identified certain predictable behaviours, which would arise from the smouldering ashes of our dispute.

We all wish for South Africa, with it’s Truth and Reconciliation but in truth the depth of not only ‘Anti-BASSA’ sentiment but ‘Anti-Cabin Crew’ sentiment, as evidenced on this very forum (even towards ‘Backing BA’ members like Betty Girl and Ottergirl), makes it all too easy for disaffected factions to attempt to ignite a landscape more akin to Northern Ireland than South Africa.

I have personally resigned from Crew Defence, which was originally born out of frustration with the lack of legal challenge mounted by Unite to the withdrawal of Staff Travel from strikers.

I now personally understand this was due to Unite’s determination that FULL restoration of Staff Travel would always be a part of any negotiated settlement. Indeed, we have successfully had Staff Travel restored in full, as part of our honourably negotiated democratically voted for Settlement Agreement; given the time Crew Defence have required to bring this issue to Court, I now believe Unite followed a wise path.

However, it is too easy to dismiss this ‘rumour’ as a Crew Defence hissy fit. What of other ‘players’ in the dispute? Cabin Crew ’89 were amalgamated with BASSA as a requirement of the Settlement Agreement, could there be an under current of unease with this requirement? Whatever happened to PCCC, are they a Union, did they register, with whom?

Now, for the new kids on the block. Almost 400 Mixed Fleet Cabin Crew have reportedly joined Unite. They currently have no Union recognition from the Company but when they hit that magic 51%, they can legally demand collective representation. Hold on to your hats when they do!

Thanks to our Flight Crew colleagues vote to give BMI their boarding card to join our family, there will be an injection of experienced Unionised Cabin Crew into our Company, the body part where that needle will be stuck is yet to be bared.

If I was a disaffected opportunist, I would recognise an opportunity in the smoking embers left over from our dispute. There are up coming BASSA elections and an opportunity for change in BASSA this summer but why bother with all that messy democracy when you can start a new Union?

Before the dispute many of us were not engaged with our Company or Union, content to enjoy the above industry pay and conditions without asking what we could do for either our Company or our Union. Post dispute that landscape is changed forever, recognising the passion and strength of our community we are being empowered using new technology and building bridges under the One Team Initiative

While I have the utmost respect for the GMB as a Union, I do not respect opportunists who I believe have benefited from BASSA representation under the Unite umbrella, yet fail to seize the upcoming opportunity to be elected as a BASSA Rep. If the rumours (and there are many) prove to be true, I would question some folks moral values and personally would not want to be represented by them – whatever umbrella they hide under!

I do not watch from afar, I watch from the calm water as those who throw stones at glass houses muddy the puddles around them. Luckily I am wearing my waterproof spandex!

The postings made by Dingbaticus are my own thoughts, feelings and beliefs and don’t necessarily represent my employers positions, strategies or opinions.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 09:06
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
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Well Dingbaticus, unfortunately a lot of us, including some of your members who have not actually left the union yet, dont see BASSA as representative of the views of crew at all.

BASSA has always been a power struggle between moderate members and militant members, which is why CC89 started in the first place !

In fact, unfortunately, CC89 breaking away, with hindsight was a mistake, as it left a militant core behind to completely ruin BASSA forever, but we can't change the past.

I don't know if the breakaway GMB has anything to do with crew defence, for all I know that could be just something BASSA are saying to put people off. What I do know is that many people in BASSA are very unhappy about how they were led and even though they remain in the Union, they are not happy with the leadership at all. Many are merely in a union for the feeling of protection and simply want intelligent people to speak on their behalf but unfortunately BASSA don't seem to be able to do that anymore and due to the really bad way they were led during the dispute has actually made them rather impotent.

It's a sad state of affairs but that is the way it is.

History will show that this dispute was badly lead on both sides. BASSA was badly lead by someone who was on a personal battle but BA was also lead by someone that ultimately got his own way but at the expense of a good relationship with ALL his cabin crew, both staunch union supporters and more moderate people like myself. Unfortunately his decisions about starting a low paid fleet and creating a rift between workers that need to work together as one team with his crazy VCC project will go down in history as sheer foley.

Creating a low cost, low paid workforce and rubbing the noses of loyal crew in it by putting them in a hat is just madness beyond belief. Our brand is being damaged by this on many different counts. It is not the fault of Mixed Fleet crew at all, they themselves are just pawns in a bigger game being played. They are keen and friendly and as new crew are obviously enjoying the job. It's just a crying shame that their enthusiasm could not have been harnessed into the current fleets and that the two sets of people negotiating this were both led so badly.

Just my opinion.

Sounds like you are scared of the GMB branch Ding!
Betty girl is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2012, 11:04
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Posts: 881
As I said in an earlier post the GMB has had recognition rights for cabin crew for at least 30 years. They had a branch at one time but it faded away.

They are a very large union and already have considerable membership in other areas of BA and seats at BATUC and all other major forums.

The lady mentioned in an earlier post is NOT cabin crew but a full time official of the GMB with the role of Regionall Organiser. This is normal all unions have organisers who try and get membership and then representation within companies.

BMI were represented by CC89 and were the second airline after BA to join in 1989. They have a structure and reps who are now Unite.

I would hazard a guess if GMB is successful a lot of them would join as they are not BASSA fans.

I very much hope this venture is a success and that cabinCrew get a decent union again.
vctenderness is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2012, 13:12
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: London
Posts: 2
In addition to my earlier posting. As this union is still in its infancy, if you are interested or know of anyone interested in becoming a rep then please contact us via the website. We currently have 4 WWLHR reps and are looking for reps across the fleets.

My earlier posting seems to be awaiting Moderator approval but the above however appeared immediately so apologies is this sometime later is duplicated!


Stephanie Attwood is the GMB London Regional Officer and yes she was cabin for many years with KLM prior to joining the GMB hence why her name appears on the website and was described as such. There is absolutely no conspiracy with regards to our names being omited and i have provided my name to those that have asked via PM. We are restricted by BA with information with the information we can prove until we launch sometime next week. As you can imagine Unite/BASSA are less than happy with the new venture.

May i add that this is not a Unite/BASSA bashing exercise. We are currently aimed at those presently without union representation of which there are many who have express an interest in having a choice.

We are in no way shape or form affiliated with either the Crew Defense or BA Management.

No we are not elected reps as its the norm with a startup union with initially no membership to have had an election. However we aim within the next 6 months or thereabouts once the membership has stablised to be in a position to do so.

Last edited by gotcuk; 18th Mar 2012 at 13:37.
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Old 18th Mar 2012, 18:21
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: M3 usually!
Posts: 492
Ooh, where to start on this one!
Why would they not want to join BASSA
Are you serious? After all that was said about and done to us can you really be surprised that we would rather be without a union than join the ranks of BASSA. And, judging by all that was said, they wouldn't want us either!
given their stance in the dispute, why would they even feel the need to be a member of ANY Trade Union?
I was a member of a trade union before this all started and was very happy with the representation I received from CC89. Their approach to IR negotiation was largely in-line with my own and I personally was very sad when it became obvious that that was no longer the case.
yet fail to seize the upcoming opportunity to be elected as a BASSA Rep
If I am not mistaken, first you have to be a BASSA member for over a year before you can even consider becoming a rep then you have to serve a period of time before you can stand for election to the leadership! So how could any crew who resigned from the union during the dispute get elected in order to bring about any change? The only ones who can do that are the members within, arguably the ones who are already reps and I am not sure there are many of those who would publicly admit that they disagree with the way the whole debacle played out.
why bother with all that messy democracy when you can start a new Union?
Why indeed? Perhaps because it is the only way to bring about balanced crew representation without personalities being involved! To be able to trust that your reps will consider they have a duty to negotiate which is more important than refusing to sit at a table if there is someone they don't like at it. That the needs of all the community will be considered rather than one particular group and that all proposed settlements will be impact assessed and financially costed before being democratically voted on by ALL the members. In short, that you will receive the best representation that your money can buy you!

And finally
May i add that this is not a Unite/BASSA bashing exercise. We are currently aimed at those presently without union representation of which there are many who have express an interest in having a choice.
There is clearly a gap in the market and a fair bit of interest in the wider community. I wish you the best of luck as it won't be an easy journey. Very rewarding though if you succeed!
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 08:17
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
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If you can't see that it is BASSA and it's mad leaders that we all had, and still have, a problem with and not normal unions that actually represent their members wishes, there really is very little hope for us.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 14:03
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I couldn't have put it better myself Betty..
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 00:51
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
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Age: 45
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I am hearing BASSA are already putting out the SPIN!
1. Members of crew defence are heading up the GMB and joining in droves! Yeah right BASSA dream on you won’t get rid of them that quickly, you breed the monster now deal with it!
You marched your members up that hill, not so easy marching them down again is it!
2. BA refuses to recognise another union within Cabin Crew other than UNITE............err wrong again. That I am afraid is not in the hands of BA, I feel BASSA need to read the constitution.
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 04:10
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Posts: 8
I have joined the gmbcabincrew.org.uk website and it details the reps on there - I must say I am impressed - finally and hopefully a decent union with a better approach to dealing with things - the GMB is huge and has resources to back up any new branch in its infancy.. I spoke to a BASSA rep who was giving me the spin about Crew Defence being involved....which I half expected..

Why is it that the BASSA machine NEVER accepts that people are unhappy with the way in which the Union is run and conducts itself? Instead they set out to rubbish everyone else and go on and on about how hard the reps work!! - Yawn...

Its about time we had a choice of which Union we wished to belong to - as they say competition is a healthy thing.. Bring it on.
BERTIEBIRDY is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2012, 08:56
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
Firstly this is great news. At last it seems, a real alternative to Bassa. I, at the moment like some others, will hold fire until I've spoken to a few people. ( I agree here with what TorC has said). I'm really really hoping this is going to work out though. One of the biggest things I need to know is are we going to have FULL access to the accounts. I also need to know what kind of agenda and ideas the reps have. If, hopefully its similar to the OLD style of CC89 then I'm in. There are understandably more questions than answers at the moment.

This couldn't have come at a worse time for Bassa IMO.

1) The elections in July could turn out to be very interesting with all sorts of individuals waiting for their moment. When people want to be elected, all kinds of things might be revealed.

2) The impending court cases concerning the Airbus captain. It'll be very interesting to see who is involved, and how, if at all, Unite and/or Bassa ' help' their members. I've a feeling they're in for a bit of a shock.

3) Although around 3000-4000 have left Bassa, it's not us who are the key to the future. As many know, and has been widely mentioned before, around 4000+ more are still members DESPITE not striking and not it seems liking Bassa one little bit. Amongst that figure Bassa inherited many hundreds from CC89. They have sadly fallen for the Bassa fear tactics and are there simply for 'protection'. ( I fly with these people on a daily basis). Now IF just half of those
left UNITE for the GMB, well it will get very interesting. And of course let's not forget MF in all of this.

All of this COULD mean that if Bassa's numbers dwindle, they might be derecognised within 12-18 months. ( after all, the irony is that BA, through the subs going through the payroll, knows exactly how many crew are in Bassa, but of course sadly Bassa stopped revealing the figures over 18 months go)

So this could be the 'Arab Spring' in CC union terms. Who knows. But I'll tell you what, I know who my monies on. Let's all hope the GMB scenario works out, because if they get momentum, then the result is a foregone conclusion.
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:18
  #34 (permalink)  
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Well I think we can guess what line this new union branch will be taking given that two of the three reps mentioned are from CC89, one of them was the leader! I shall be keeping an eye out in CRC for either just to ask a few questions but I feel that CC89 just rose from the ashes of Unite!
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:22
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
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Posts: 942

Just had a look at the rep names on the GMB website and one is an exCC89 rep. So I don't think it has anything to do with crew defence.

I think I am going to join.
Betty girl is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:29
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
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Age: 45
Posts: 53
JT, great post and so so true
I feel BASSAs time now is up, they are ineffectual and have lost all power
They are NO LONGER in the driving seat, and have been firmly placed in the back seat. BA is in control quite firmly, and never will BASSA be allowed to direct this company again.
I can see within a year GMB membership exceeding BASSAs, already I hear that MF crew are joining up in droves.........
LGW crew are calling GMB too, wanting to be represented after being dumped by BASSA.
Who would want to join or be a member of a union where your subs are going to be used to fight loosing battles & court cases?
JT, you mention the impending airbus captain’s court cases......42 BASSA members are soon going to have to fight one of the hardest battles of their lives and potentially will be pulled through a horrendously costly court case for each and every one of them; it’s going to get nasty. Will BASSA support them through it?
Will they dig deep in the pot? Because I tell you what, they are going to need to and I don’t know one person that wishes their subs to go and support such a losing battle!
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:43
  #37 (permalink)  

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In a bid to prevent this thread from spiralling downwards in the now traditional fashion, I'm going to ask that contributors be British Airways Cabin Crew only. If you are not British Airways Cabin Crew - don't post here.
TightSlot is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:54
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942

Thanks Tightslot.

Just in case anyone is interested, I have joined the GMB.

I intend to go to their first meeting, when it gets announced, and then I will be able to make a full judgement on what I think of the reps etc.

The rep I recognise the name of was always very balanced as a rep, so I am pleased that some normal people will once again be representing crew.

Membership is open to E/F, WW and Mixed Fleet which is really good.
Betty girl is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:56
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: london
Age: 45
Posts: 53

you and soooo many others I know
they are currently looking for some reps I believe,
At the end of the day one thing is for sure
BASSA numbers are falling and GMB numbers are rising
report call sign is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2012, 09:59
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Didsbury
Posts: 51
Just joined as well Betty ( just sent you a pm)
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