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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions II

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions II

Old 22nd Sep 2010, 12:18
  #2161 (permalink)  
 
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That was, as you said, for unlawful action. The Gate Gourmet dispute was not a BA dispute, (the catering had been subcontracted, and BA's own catering staff taken on, on the whole, by Gate Gourmet, it may have been, not sure, that BA sold off it's catering to GG as a lump, staff included) but secondary strikes at BA were encouraged in support, and that was clearly unlawful. The CC strike, however misguided the reasons, was lawful.

Still, if they lost staff travel as a punishment, it does at least mean it has happened as a result of a disciplinary situation, which was a question I asked earlier. Striking CC are not going to be on disciplinaries however, not just for striking, so it's unclear just how relevant it is to this.

I shall certainly watch any court case with interest.
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 14:27
  #2162 (permalink)  
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As for no entitlement during sick leave, that is a pretty obvious restriction

Yes, but the point is that the employer has in the past "removed, suspended, embargoed " the "entitlement" for a variety of reasons. Previously the "entitlement" has been restored (in most cases)
Therefore I assume using precedent the employer can remove the perk. The only difference now is that the employer forewarned the employees that the removal would be permenant.
Doesn't seem like rocket science to me.
However as you said the court case, if there is one, will decide and make a pretty penny for someone.
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 14:47
  #2163 (permalink)  
 
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Staff travel is a non-contractual and discretionary benefit granted at the sole discretion of BA and as such can be withdrawn or varied at the sole discretion of the Company at any time.

I agree to these terms and conditions
Every time you book an ST ticket you agree to these T&C's, there are others, this is the most relevant. So, each time you book a ticket you personally agree that ST is non-contractual and can be removed or varied at BA's sole discretion. I see this as being a very difficult hurdle for UNITE to overcome, particularly as the consequences of putting yourself in breach of contract by striking were clearly defined beforehand.

Last edited by Juan Tugoh; 22nd Sep 2010 at 17:39. Reason: SPAG
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 16:45
  #2164 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks, Juan ... that's a very important factor to be placed in the public arena.

It's a shame it has taken so long to be revealed; the Media might even have noticed that

It will be a genius of a lawyer to argue his way round that one, IMO.

Right ... One down, two to go. Next case?
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 17:16
  #2165 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11

That fact has been in the public domain since this dispute started.

If you search all the threads I'm sure that you'll find it.

The fact the BASSA choose to ignore it is not surprising given their form
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 17:26
  #2166 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry, TopBunk ... so many pages, here and on the other thread, I must have missed that.

Still, it's nice to see it re-stated.
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 19:39
  #2167 (permalink)  
 
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just an observer: Thanks for your reply. Interesting to get the facts on what's happened to ST during past IA.

TopBunk/Juan Tugoh: That's the bit of info I was looking for. To be honest the search engine is a little difficult to pin point something like that, unless it's the way I'm using it

Anyway, Mrs moleytt and I are off to Boston tomorrow - with BA of course. Recent flight reports sound encouraging, so looking forward to it.

moleytt
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 19:53
  #2168 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11

No problems. This dispute has been going on so long that almost everything worth saying (or indeed not worth saying) has been said several times at least that one could almost lose the will to live

Reputedly attributed to Woodley (on this forum or elsewhere) when questioned privately at the TUC conference, he admitted that they (BASSA and/or Unite) were f***ed in this dispute, and it was all about an exit strategy.

Note: that is not to suggest that BASSA accept that viewpoint, and that, throughout this dispute has been the ultimate problem - BASSA will take no council from anyone.

BA only talk through Unite (because BASSA have refused to negotiate) and Unite can't deliver any BASSA agreement without re-instatement of those dismissed and ST for all, so we end up with apparent stalemate.

Only apparent, because in the meantime, BA are making the desired savings through the crewing changes, and BASSA through their intransigence, are accelerating BA's growth of MF and their own demise, by opting out of any discussions of route transfers to MF (for example, the newly announced routes to HND (Tokyo Haneda) and EZE (Buenos Aires) direct will almost certainly go straight to MF at a saving of about 8000 per cabin crew rotation per route - all avoidable had BASSA agreed to negotiate.

So sad that so many have been so misrepresented by so few for personal grievances and vendettas
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 20:00
  #2169 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks, TopBunk. I wasn't trying to stir, honest. I've been reading this and other Boards for the last 12 months, and I've flown during strikes, and ... arrrgh! It's so easy to lose your way and try to remember what's been said, especially at my age!

Anyway, I'm flying BA on Monday and Tuesday [CE then CW] and I know it will be a good experience. How good depends on the particular crew operating out of LHR, of course.

Fingers are crossed, and best regards to the great majority of BA CC!
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 21:20
  #2170 (permalink)  
 
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When is the court case re the withdrawal of staff travel for the strikers at BA? In my 35 years in the airline industry staff travel was a privilege and not a right. If the case goes against BA I would think that many airlines around the world will have to re-think their staff privileges. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 22nd Sep 2010, 22:44
  #2171 (permalink)  
 
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in the airline industry staff travel was a privilege and not a right. If the case goes against BA I would think that many airlines around the world will have to re-think their staff privileges.
Why? IF the case goes against BA, staff travel will be no more contractual, no more a right, than it is now. And it isn't contractual. I don't think anyone here argues that it is, certainly not me. Nor Unite, I'd assume.

Presumably all the court case will determine is

1. Whether the withdrawal of a discretionary privilege, normally available to all staff, from those who went on strike, is a punishment for striking, and

2. whether an employer bound by UK law has the right to punish employees for going on a legal strike.

In this particular case the means of punishment is staff travel, but it could be anything, depending on the employer concerned. It's the principle of punishment for striking, not the method, that counts.

Other airlines around the world aren't bound by UK law anyway.

BA's lawyers haven't shot themselves in the foot yet, so they must reckon they have a good case, but it will still be interesting.

Last edited by just an observer; 22nd Sep 2010 at 23:00.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 09:15
  #2172 (permalink)  
 
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BA's lawyers thought they had a good case when they lost at appeal last time....
One of the reasons that only a fool says they know the law is that it changes so frequently and in this field so much is based on case law.
Of course it's about a punishment for doing something lawful. BA may have messed up by just withdrawing it from the strikers. That could be seen as punishment for taking part in legal strike action. What was withdrawn is irrelevant.
I think Litebulbs has been trying to convince folk of this for a while now.
As my crystal ball is broken I won't guess at the outcome, but, it should be interesting whichever way it goes.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 10:52
  #2173 (permalink)  
 
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call100, absolutely agree. IMO the answer to item 1 in my post above is 'yes' it is a punishment. We all agree that BA can withdraw staff travel at their discretion but it's the reason they have withdrawn it that counts.

As for item 2 I would like to think that punishment for a legal strike is unlawful, but I certainly wouldn't bet on it.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 10:58
  #2174 (permalink)  
 
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Whichever way it will be judged, bassa might expect compensation for travel expences for the allegedly penalised members and if they lose they ll blame a corrupt court-judging system and the argument will be going on and on
They are not interested in a settlement but simply to fuel their hate for the company they work for and generate as much damage they can possibly inflict in doing so.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 10:59
  #2175 (permalink)  
 
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Call100 and just an observer are I think correct.

In the first instance BASSA mentalists were running around explaining to all and sundry that staff travel was contractual, this was soon dropped very quickly, suprise suprise, of course it didn't help that BASSA sent everyone a text explaining that staff travel would be "back in 5 minutes"

Interestingly crew-defence lawyers are dipping their toe in the water at an Industrial tribunal utilising the race relations act, of course all this is being paid for by individual crew donations, and one wonders if they could afford to take this all the way to the ECJ.

What should of course be worrying for both cabin crew and BASSA are the time lines involved. I would expect BA to fight all these cases all the way to Europe if necessary.

BALPA have a similar case pending with the financial help of the TUC (should please BASSA mentalists who want them rejected from the TUC) It started out at an industrial tribunal in March 2006 and is now expected to be heard at the ECJsome time in 2011 with an opinion in 2012, and even then it gets bounced back to the British courts to deal with.

Only 6 years then ,I hope Cabin Crew and BASSA can be patient
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 11:02
  #2176 (permalink)  
 
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It starts to get interesting when you think along the appeal process.

Let's postulate that UNITE do not win their appeal and decide to take it along the ECHR route. There is precedent for this - for interests sake try Googling Danilenkov. A case before the ECHR is one against the UK rather than against the company - it would be that UK law has failed, not that BA had not complied with UK law. Even if UNITE were to ultimately win at the ECHR, it would still be down to the UK legislative body to change the law. Generally what happens is that some compensation is awarded, but again, see the Danilenkov case where the strikers were effectively gotten rid of, the compensation is paltry.

This then, is effectively a one shot go for UNITE, if they lose this appeal there would be very little benefit to proceed further for them. BA on the other hand have everything to gain by dragging this out for as long as possible. The longer this goes on - the ST issue - the better it gets for BA. The downside is very small and the strikers who rely on their ST are being slowly drained. I am still not sure that UNITE have thought this through very well.

Last edited by Juan Tugoh; 23rd Sep 2010 at 11:58.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 11:22
  #2177 (permalink)  
 
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This then, is effectively a one shot go for UNITE, if they lose this appeal there would be very little benefit to proceed further for them. BA on the other hand have everything to gain by dragging this out for as long as possible. The longer this goes on - the ST issue - the better it gets for BA. The downside is very small and the strikers who rely on their ST are being slowly drained. I am still not sure that UNITE have thought this through very well
I tend to agree with this as well, which is presumably why the full restoration of staff travel was hoped to be part of the settlement deal, as otherwise it's all too long winded. Once BA took away staff travel on a permanent or loss of seniority basis, Unite weren't left with many options to think through.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 11:40
  #2178 (permalink)  

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It's very difficult to take posts seriously when the phrase 'BASSA mentalists' is used: It is actually the sort of language that might be expected from the very people that the phrase describes - It's entirely up to you: I would have thought that sounding like a grown up would be helpful to making your case, but hey, your thread, your words.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 12:51
  #2179 (permalink)  
 
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Just a couple of points .........

I've been following the original thread since around September last year, and this thread since it started. To my knowledge, prior to Juan's post, nobody in that time has identified the existence of, or the words of, the disclaimer regarding staff travel when you sign for it.

The existence of the disclaimer and the frequency with which it is continually being reinforced, clearly stating that there is no obligation on BA to either allow it in any instance or to continue to do so, leads me to believe that this alters all of the theories discussed and put forward, including any idea from BASSA or UNITE, that BA can in any manner be forced to give ST to anyone.

If I have an item and the sole ownership of it, tangible or otherwise, that some one else desires to have or share, I am the sole judge of what I shall do with my possession, regardless of any screams of 'give me' or 'I demand', and if I so wish I am fully at liberty to destroy that item. As indeed I am to run out of patience with any person I employ in my business, and say - you are fired - you have the legal right to sue me if you wish - I reserve my position regarding reasons.

I believe that BA may be very close to this response.
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Old 23rd Sep 2010, 13:27
  #2180 (permalink)  
 
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I see Willie Walsh has been appointed president of the London Chamber of Commerce for two years. Looks like he will be in the UK for longer than BASSA would like.
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