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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions II

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions II

Old 10th Sep 2010, 20:05
  #1961 (permalink)  
 
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I was concerned that you might be a Fish Head from your address. I'll make due allowances for your future ramblings.
Standby to get modded!
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 20:09
  #1962 (permalink)  
 
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Never let the WAFU's forget they are Warfare Officers with an Adqual.

Back on thread. To fellow SLF, though I thought it was Self Loading Cargo, who use BA for business are you seeing or even doing yourselves a decline in booking BA for fear of a strike? Or does the business world have confidence that BA will ride out the strike??
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 20:11
  #1963 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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BASSA'S inflated membership numbers are not as bad as Unite's inflated claims on their homepage
"Unite is the largest trade union in Britain and Ireland with almost 2 million members" - the TUC records show Unite as having 1,557,892 members.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 20:28
  #1964 (permalink)  
 
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Bassa

BASSA is an active and progressive union, which is entirely staffed by elected representatives, all of whom work as BA cabin crew.


Another convenient untruth.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 22:16
  #1965 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting viewpoint Baggersup. I'm just wondering if this is actually an attempt by Tony Woodley to show BASSA how out of step they are.

I don't know the history behind the other branches of Unite who operate at BA. If they are all ex-TGWU folk, then they will have a degree of alliegance towards Woodley as he was their GS. If they are ex Amicus, it may prove more difficult.

If the reps all turn round and point out that they have had no problems with BA and maybe it's the BASSA leadership who are the cause of friction, then Woodley can use that to push BASSA to accept a deal. Moreover, it allows the other reps to give the BASSA exec a hard time. The non-cabin crew areas must be pretty hacked off if they are losing members because of staff's disgust with BASSA. So it could be an opportunity for administering a quiet kicking to BASSA.

The only other thought I had was that for cabin crew to win this dispute, Unite need to be able to bring the airline to a standstill. They clearly can't do that by calling out just cabin crew as has been evidenced by recent attempts. They need to find a cause that is a) new and b) sufficiently emotive to get the support of all union members. The suggestion that BA is actively trying to remove union recognition from a chunk of the workforce is about the only game Woodley has to play with. It's a charge which is pretty flimsy, as is the suggestion that if BA could achieve this with cabin crew, other areas would not be safe. Because it is so weak I come back to my initial hypothesis, that Woodley wants the reps to see the whole thing as a bit of a farce and turn their guns on BASSA. That means he can tell them to stop messing around and settle. Bear in mind that Wille Walsh has said all along that if it were purely up to himself and Tony Woodley, this whole deal would have been settled ages ago, it's the fact that BASSA have the power of veto over any deal drawn up by them that has protracted things
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 03:09
  #1966 (permalink)  
 
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I've been out of the loop for a while and have some catching up to do.

Is this still the same strike action that started last year? It's all rather confusing as months seem to go by without any media coverage, actual strike action taking place or BA flights being affected.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 09:28
  #1967 (permalink)  
 
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@ Roccoreid ...
Back on thread. To fellow SLF, though I thought it was Self Loading Cargo, who use BA for business are you seeing or even doing yourselves a decline in booking BA for fear of a strike? Or does the business world have confidence that BA will ride out the strike??
I am seeing positive effects and growing confidence. I put a hold on my company's forward booking with BA for a while, but lifted that a couple of months ago. I'm also booking ahead for personal trips [later this month and next April].

I have the feeling that most people are now doing the same thing, as BA has shown that it can operate credible schedules during periods of BASAA disruption. I flew TATL with BA during the last strike period ... we had a bit of multiple re-booking as the schedules were fine-tuned, but eventually flew virtually as scheduled [just had to come back one day early].

The BASSA game is virtually over. It will be interesting to see what support Woodley gets for a Unite-wide attack on BA; I'm guessing most employees are likely to vote for having a job!
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 10:57
  #1968 (permalink)  
 
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Woodley states the following....................................
"I am therefore calling an early meeting of representatives of all Unite BA members to set out the facts of what is happening in the company, in particular what I believe, in the absence of any serious proposals from the company to settle the dispute, is a plan to eliminate Unite from a sizeable part of the company and weakening the position of the union in the remainder, and to discuss the need for a coordinated and concerted union response.

"While it remains my hope that an agreement can be reached with the company, BAs conduct makes it inevitable that we prepare for other outcomes.
This must surely come under the heading of 2ndry action. BA's lawyers will be looking forward to this, always assuming that the other leaders don't tell him to go take a jump.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 11:44
  #1969 (permalink)  
 
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my thoughts exactly, F84, and methinks there will be a fair chance the other BA branches will tell him to "Foxtrot Oscar" after the way BASSA have happily insulted, etc, those members who have signed deals, worked as volunteers during the strike, etc.

Methinks membership numbers might be about to take a tumble
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 11:59
  #1970 (permalink)  
 
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If the reps all turn round and point out that they have had no problems with BA and maybe it's the BASSA leadership who are the cause of friction, then Woodley can use that to push BASSA to accept a deal. Moreover, it allows the other reps to give the BASSA exec a hard time.
The non-BASSA Unite reps have been grumbling for at least 12 months, and there has been serious displeasure that despite negotiating succesfully with BA they have had the signing of their respective deals held up by Unite in attempt to shore up an illusion of solidarity with the cabin crew. Functions such as Passenger Service, Ramp and MT have been slashed in recent years, with the threat of outsourcing always lurking in the background, but despite this the Unite reps at each of these departments have concluded acceptable agreements. If Woodley thinks these people are going to put their necks on the block because BASSA threw a hissy-fit about the CSD having to push a trolley for 70K p.a. he's got a nasty shock coming! He should remember which Union the majority of volunteer cabin crew belong to!
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 15:19
  #1971 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Do the deals Unite have agreed for other staff include any pay rise? I ask as the offer to CC does (not that they have accepted it - other than the non union CC) My husband said there was some dissatisfaction that CC were at least offered 3% rises, presumably because they still have some 'clout', and others have been offered less. But if it's simply 'held up' he may just be insufficiently informed. Feeling that CC have already got more offered than them may make the rest unlikely to back CC, but...

Staff travel could be an issue, it's clear that any other branches that may at some time in the future have a genuine greivance and need to strike, will also lose staff travel, once BA have done that successfully once, it will become the norm. Hubby feels most people he talks to do not actually agree with permanent loss of staff travel seniority as a punishment for IA. However much 'they were warned' and know it's not contractual, it is still a punishment.

Woodley has been quite reasonable during negotiations and all but did a deal with Walsh just before the first strike, which was scuppered by BASSA and McCluskey, but I feel he is genuinely angered by the staff travel position. Possibly he would have accepted the ACAS observers re the disciplinaries, as BA offered, rather than ACAS actually mediating them as BASSA want, if the staff travel were returned (although whether he could sell it to BASSA remains doubtful)

However, if the rest of BA backed CC on loss of staff travel to the point of striking, their own staff travel would go immediately, rather than a 'maybe' in the future, unless they won. BA can't afford to back down, they'd lose all credibility in the city, with passengers, share price etc. Personally I hope the others don't back CC, and doubt they would if push came to shove, but there are issues.

Last edited by just an observer; 11th Sep 2010 at 16:01.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 15:41
  #1972 (permalink)  
 
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BBC Ceefax

" The Policy Exchange suggests 40% of the trade union members in a workforce should be required to vote for a strike for it to be valid."
The TUC claimed it was " a crude attack on workplace rights."

What is not explained is what represents a workforce, but I would think it relates solely to the section in dispute; eg BA cabin crew and BASSA.

A simple majority when electing MPs is deemed acceptable ( for the time being ), but in industrial disputes it's wide open to abuse particularly when ex-union members are still receiving documents from Unite/Bassa.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 15:45
  #1973 (permalink)  
 
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just an observer

Couldn't agree more, great post.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 16:30
  #1974 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GCI35 View Post
" The Policy Exchange suggests 40% of the trade union members in a workforce should be required to vote for a strike for it to be valid."
The TUC claimed it was " a crude attack on workplace rights."
This is why trade unions have learnt nothing from the past. I am sure most would agree that Labour were going to loose the last election and would then hand legislative power back to the right. What do you need to pass even more laws to restrict collective strength, than a couple of high profile strikes (BASSA and RMT). When I say collective strength, I am talking about individual rights being put forward collectively. This is where the unions and New Labour had there disconnect and if the left can't agree with each other, there is no way that the current Government are going to further increase individual rights, over that of business.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 17:07
  #1975 (permalink)  
 
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The sadness in all of this is that it's not actually about Left or Right, Bosses and Workers, Cloth Caps and Bowlers. More and more it seems to be about an individual expressing, and manifesting, "power".

If there wasn't a Unite leadership election?
If there wasn't a new Tory Government?

I honestly believe that the actual concerns of the working people out there are frequently completely ignored, and that internal power-struggles are what really matter to Union leaders. And, given the benefits they enjoy [salaries, housing, pensions] that's hardly surprising.

If I was a high-level Union Rep, I would certainly be looking to become the Gen Sec of Unite ... with all the benefits that brings. I wouldn't give a tinkers' cuss for the people on the shop floor, in case some pirrock like DH damaged my climb up the greasy pole to the top.

And, of course, the same principle applies to every and any aspiring pole-climber, regardless of the environment.
God knows I've worked under a few of those in my lifetime
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 17:40
  #1976 (permalink)  
 
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I think that the proposed 40% is wrong. It should be 51%!
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 17:51
  #1977 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11

No argument from me there.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 18:13
  #1978 (permalink)  
 
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I personally think it should be a "yes" vote received from 50% +1 of the entire workforce who are eligible to join the union whether they have actually joined the union, and thus participated in the strike ballot, or not. I see whether an eligible employee chooses to join the union or not as being an essential first part of any ballot. Then the lesser the number of employees who choose (or 'vote' initially) to join the union the greater the percentage of actual voting union members required in any strike ballot required to achieve the 50% + 1 of the entire workforce.

This would eliminate the ludicrous situation we currently have of BASSA claiming 75% support for the strike (after excluding non-union staff and union staff who are not at Heathrow, etc., etc.) when the truth is more like only 27% of the entire workforce who are eligible to join BASSA.

How can the law permit and protect so few people in being able to cause so much damage to so many?

Further, there seems something very wrong to me in union leaders being able to advise members to vote in favour of strike action even though they don't intend to strike. There appears to be a tremendous imbalance as the employer has to be squeaky clean in everything it does (e.g. not inducing union members to resign, etc.) whereas the union can behave as an openly dishonest bunch of renegades while being afforded incredible protection and immunity from the liabilities arising in the substantial damages it can inflict on a very broad group of completely innocent people.

Just my opinions based on a strong sense of 'fairness' and 'personal accountability'

Last edited by Phil Rigg; 11th Sep 2010 at 18:54.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 19:23
  #1979 (permalink)  
 
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I personally think it should be a "yes" vote received from 50% +1 of the entire workforce who are eligible to join the union whether they have actually joined the union,
When you say workforce, do you mean the specific group, or the whole airline?

Further, there seems something very wrong to me in union leaders being able to advise members to vote in favour of strike action even though they don't intend to strike.
But is it ok when the same union leaders recommend acceptance of a deal?

There appears to be a tremendous imbalance as the employer has to be squeaky clean in everything it does (e.g. not inducing union members to resign, etc.) whereas the union can behave as an openly dishonest bunch of renegades while being afforded incredible protection and immunity from the liabilities arising in the substantial damages it can inflict on a very broad group of completely innocent people.
That depends if you type as a manager or as a TU rep. So far more reps have been sacked or suspended, than managers.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 19:39
  #1980 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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LB thanks for your comments.

I define the workforce as those involved in the dispute. In this case it would be all those eligble to join BASSA.

The issue I have is with recommending dishonesty so, yes, it is perfectly OK with me for the union leaders to recommend acceptance as, should a union member agree, their vote to accept is an honest action.

The reason that more reps than managers have been sacked appears to be because so many more reps than managers are misbehaving in the workplace as a consequence of the dispute.
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