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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions II

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions II

Old 12th Aug 2010, 21:11
  #1421 (permalink)  
 
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I know - I was only teasing you a touch.

BA have always been that way, even within the aviation sector. In my time there, arriving from another airline, nearly two decades after privatisation, I was truly astonished at the comfortable - ridiculously comfortable - work environment to be found there.
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Old 12th Aug 2010, 21:59
  #1422 (permalink)  
 
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Referring to an earlier discussion about non-union members, according to the other thread 1,100 non-union members have accepted the latest offer from BA on an individual basis. I'm not sure whether this is the total number of acceptances received by BA, or the number of acceptances after BA validated that those who responded were not members of Unite when the offer was made.
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Old 12th Aug 2010, 23:47
  #1423 (permalink)  
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Sbas
So as the world moves on and focus shifts to BAA staff, and many more things generally, some CC are still left with no ST and worse terms than when all this started. Crap eh.
If you read the excellent posts by west lakes, I think you will see what has happened in the last 30 years. I was working in IT during the last recession (89/92) and guess what? Pay rates dropped suddenly and took more than five years to recover properly and some took ten years.

I am not unsympathetic to people who have to accept reduced pay and Ts&Cs, as I have had that (AND redundancy AND unfair dismissal) in my 30 years of working life. The point here is that the CC (and the BAA folks) do not seem to understand that, just because their line of work has had close to 50 years of expansion with only small setbacks, that it is still going to continue. They have a JOB and since we are in the worst financial crisis since 1929 - that is worth a heck of a lot.

There is no public support for any of this and they could all (BA + BAA) have negotiated their way to a new contract and STILL have had a job.

Tell me, if a company loses 1Billion due to 'IA' do you think that the company are then better able to afford to pay an increase in wages and benefits?
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 06:00
  #1424 (permalink)  
 
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Referring to an earlier discussion about non-union members, according to the other thread 1,100 non-union members have accepted the latest offer from BA on an individual basis.
Interesting if you add the above to the votes cast in the recent BASSA ballot, seems to add up to about 6,250, from a population of about 11,500 cabin crew.

At the moment (playing devil's advocate and using data from post #665), I make that approximately 3,449 to 2,786 in favour of rejecting the proposal, with about 5,250 unknown opinions (one cannot assume abstentions, as one does not know their reasons for not voting/accepting.) In other words only about 54% have made their views known, hardly a huge majority - what does the mute minority (46%) think/want?

Others on here may not like my thinking (and that is their perrogative), but bearing in mind the 'milk' incident (which was disgraceful) and other anecdotes of strikers isolating non strikers, I do have to wonder about the common sense of allowing a dispute like this to fester on.

Everyday, the discontent (in all camps) grows a little more bitter and the task of pulling everyione together a little harder.

From a business case perspective, it is clear that BA senior management believes it has won the dispute, but anyone who has gone through a major change program will reflect that delivery of such benefits only truly happens when the workforce pulls together and makes it so.

In other words, to deliver the cost savings, you have to attract customers to use your product and this can be directly impacted by the performance experienced from the workforce, by the customers. If your service is highly inconsistent, in a service oriented business, this is very damaging to revenues.

At the moment, what I perceive is a change program where the technical part has been delivered, but there is a blind spot to the needs of a sizable number of the stakeholders.

Given the strength of the emotions expressed by BA employees on both sides of the camp, I do wonder how long (if ever) it will be until these people are truly able to pull together and take the company forward.

Of course, I am on the outside and would be the first to accept that my perception is not as clear as those who are involved, but I wonder how this new world will rebuild BA's reputation, which let's just accept is not at it's peak following the industrial action over the past eight to nine months.

Tell me, if a company loses 1Billion due to 'IA' do you think that the company are then better able to afford to pay an increase in wages and benefits?
This is a very good point. Industrial action is very costly and in non one's interests, a negotiated settlement is nearly always better.

The BA proposal terms after IA were worse than before, I believe that demonstrates the point Paxboy is making.

Last edited by Lotpax; 13th Aug 2010 at 06:32.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 10:07
  #1425 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

Lotpax,
As a eurofleet Purser I find that it has made no difference to the passengers perspective. Crew I work with on both sides of the devide seem just as commited as ever to delivering good customer service.

It is very strange though because no one can talk about the dispute at work for fear of upsetting someone else. It's very hard to explain because I, as a non striker, feel unsettled if I am working with someone who has a baggage tag with XXXX on or is wearing a BASSA lanyard but it is not because anything is actually said, it is just because I know they think completely the oposite to me.

Often you go to say something and have to stop yourself because it would be a giveaway that you were a non striker. So it is more just an uncomfortable atmosphere between crew, than anything else. Everyone treading on eggshells because opinions are so polorized.

When you do fly and work with someone who you know has the same leaning as you it is a relief to be able to chat openly about it.

I think the service the passengers get is as good as it ever was and on Eurofleet I think in most cases it is good service.

I cannot speak for World Wide crew though as I don't know what it is like on their flights.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 10:17
  #1426 (permalink)  
 
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There is a simple way to fix the IA impasse, and this applies to all unions, not just BASSA. Legislation is needed to demand that a majority of the paid-up union members vote in favour of IA, rather than a majority of those who chose to vote.

Ipso facto, the union involved would have to declare an audited membership roll. Two birds, one stone.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 10:58
  #1427 (permalink)  
 
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I think the service the passengers get is as good as it ever was and on Eurofleet I think in most cases it is good service.
I agree Betty Girl. I recently flew to Frankfurt and back with BA. The cabin crew were cheerful, friendly and helpful. They all went out of their way to make the passengers feel welcome even though the aircraft was completely full (glad that I didn't use staff travel!).

Dave
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:09
  #1428 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

Dave, It could have been one of mine!!! i've been to Frankfurt recently !!!!!!
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:12
  #1429 (permalink)  
 
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Legislation is needed to demand that a majority of the paid-up union members vote in favour of IA, rather than a majority of those who chose to vote.
I can see why, in relation to this dispute, you would suggest such a thing and part of my head agrees however, that does effectively remove the right to abstain I have any issue with the idea of that going forward.

If you dont vote we will count it as a NO.

When you say it like that it does seem kind of wrong, really.

and is the argument to automatically count it as YES not just as good?
Try this: You are a paying, supporting member of the union and therefore by default agree to and support its actions in the absence of a specific indication (vote) to the opposite view.

Therefore If you dont vote we will count it as a YES

Neither really works in my view.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:15
  #1430 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Betty Girl

The unease you mention (by the way, I empathise with you, been there done that and it ain't nice) is exactly what I am talking about, because some pax will notice it and others will not - also, some crews and pax 'click' better than other combinations and that's life.

If you speak with a number of frequent travellers, you will find that there is a perception (from quite a number) that BA is not as good an airline as it was in the past, perhaps due to a lot of the product cutbacks, particularly on the short haul business product.

Others swear by BA and some say 'over my dead body', but every airline generates such strong opinions.

I've only flown a couple of BA flights this year, one short haul in economy (50 mins) and a nearly 4 hour sector in business.

It would be difficult to think of how the short flight could be improved, as it was excellently delivered, but the business trip was awful , with inattentive crew who seemed to be talking to colleagues travelling as pax for much of the time. There was a 2 hour gap between the dinner service and the next drinks round (not even water in between) on an aircraft that looked as if it should have been refurbished many years ago.

From such a small sample of flights, it is difficult to determine whether this 50/50 experience is typical, but that was my 2010 experience.

I'm just about to book a return business ticket to South Africa for next month and with BA unrest and BAA unrest, unfortunately I will not be using your airline for this one, even though the pricing is competitive, I'll pay about 10% more for another carrier.

There's a real world out there and the union and management need to recognize this, sort things out and get back to fighting the competition, not each other.

I do regret that decent hard working folks like you are caught in the middle, you deserve better.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:20
  #1431 (permalink)  
 
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There is at the moment no way of telling what is abstaining and what is apathy.

Abstaining from voting is a deliberate act, much the same as casting a vote is a deliberate act. Simply not voting could be a deliberate vote or it could be apathy.

If there was an option on the form marked abstain that you could tick then I think it would be reasonable to exclude that vote from any requirement to be part of the 50.1% of union members.

Not returning a vote should be counted as a no vote because taking strike action is a deliberate act. If you cannot be bothered to vote, what likelihood you will actively support a strike?
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:28
  #1432 (permalink)  
 
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A spoilt paper would be indicative of abstention.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:30
  #1433 (permalink)  
 
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If there was an option on the form marked abstain that you could tick then I think it would be reasonable to exclude that vote from any requirement to be part of the 50.1% of union members.
That I could live with.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:41
  #1434 (permalink)  
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option on the form marked abstain
I have seen this option, or similar on IA ballots in the past.

Or in the least rater more "choice" of action

Other options I've seen: -
Disagree with any action.

Agree with IA but not including a strike.

Agree vith IA including a strike.

All on the same paper.

I may be, in part, where this all went wrong by going straight to a strike option!
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 11:58
  #1435 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Neptunus Rex View Post
There is a simple way to fix the IA impasse, and this applies to all unions, not just BASSA. Legislation is needed to demand that a majority of the paid-up union members vote in favour of IA, rather than a majority of those who chose to vote.

Ipso facto, the union involved would have to declare an audited membership roll. Two birds, one stone.
Your wish is soon to be proposed. I was informed yesterday that the "if you don't vote, then yes" is in the pipe line. Of course, you could just change the way the ballot paper is drawn up. However, who decides the ballot pool? The suggestion was that it would not be just union members, but the whole affected workplace group. Will the proposed legislation be fair? As we have seen over the last 13 years, not many of Maggie's laws were repealed. Dave is not going to swing to the left, so I imagine that if the con-dem-olition party get it right, then strikes will be a thing of the past.

No doubt that will be pleasing news to many on here. Who do we blame/thank for this?

Last edited by Litebulbs; 13th Aug 2010 at 12:10.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 12:19
  #1436 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs -

......... probably Scargill. His fear of holding a ballot lead to the downfall of the NUM, and probably convinced the wets around Thatcher that this voting idea had more traction than they thought.
......................beyond that, you could also blame the Australians with their (political) voting process. ........................
and if you wanted to take it all seriously, the fault clearly belongs to Friedrich Hayek.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 12:22
  #1437 (permalink)  
 
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The suggestion was that it would not be just union members, but the whole affected workplace group.
Oh, that will be tricky.

Id be interested to see what the definition of the effected workplace group was?

Looking at the BA IA would that include the catering staff that were on short hours due to less flights during a strike, or just other BA employees like baggage, engineers, yadda yadda - tricky one that I think.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 12:27
  #1438 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Neptunus Rex
Legislation is needed to demand that a majority of the paid-up union members vote in favour of IA, rather than a majority of those who chose to vote.
Would any politician vote for such legislation?

Remember UK General Elections:
2001; Labour elected with 24.1% of the electorate
2005; Labour with 21.6% (9,556,000 of 44,180,000)
2010; Conservatives 23%; Liberal 14.9%

Unite achieved rather higher majorities.....

Last edited by BillS; 13th Aug 2010 at 12:36. Reason: added link
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 13:27
  #1439 (permalink)  
 
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If you legislate to outlaw strikes or make laws to achieve them too draconian things will just revert to the bad old days.
Belonging to a Union was illegal, striking was illegal. None of that stopped brave men doing it and fighting the injustice.
The only thing that keeps the Unions on the 'legal' path is spectre of sequestration. After all, how would all those at the top survive should that happen?
The middle ground is there. but, that does not give employers freedom to destroy wages and terms and conditions thinly disguised in 'The economic climate'. Irresponsible employers are dicing with company futures more than the Unions. Usually led by bad advice from the EEF.
I cannot understand those not voting. They even get a prepaid envelope to return it.....Lazy, comes to mind.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 13:56
  #1440 (permalink)  
 
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Personally, given the substantial costs to the business of IA and the protection afforded to employees/union who take official IA (including not being liable for the damages they incur), I would like to go a step further and suggest a law that says:

"greater than 50% of all union eligible employees are required to vote in favour of IA for it to be consider official....."

I consider an employee's decision whether to join the union or not is in effect the first step, the second step is to actually vote when called and the third step is to vote "Yes" in favour of IA. Then, for example, if 90% of eligible employees choose to join the union and 80% actually vote and 80% vote in favour of IA the union would have 0.9 x 0.8 x 0.8 = 57.6% and could declare a majority win.

What happened yesterday at BAA with a less than 50% turn-out had UNITE saying "employees voted 3 to 1 in favour" of IA when the truth of the matter is that "only 1 in 4 eligible employees actually voted for IA" which is a very different matter. UNITE would have been able to make the very same statement had only 3 employees voted in favour out of 4 actually voting from a work force of 6,000. Which, I trust, all of us would agree is ludicrous! Likewise,as BASSA was proposing, this would also render ineffective the union balloting a conveniently selected sub-section of its membership only and then declaring the same specious statement.

The ability to cause 1bns of damages (without any liability) by simply doing nothing other than being an apathetic member of a union seems to me like an inordinate amount of power to give someone.

Last edited by Phil Rigg; 13th Aug 2010 at 14:21.
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