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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:21
  #281 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Litebulbs,

Point taken but also in the letter WW says

A key element of the agreement is the need for both parties to conduct industrial relations differently from today. Industrial relations in this business needs to be more positive, respectful, open and understanding to the needs of the company and its managers, as well as its employees.
This does not seem to be the start of that new positive era.

The BASSA statement seems to say 'we don't like the deal, we would rather you voted against it, if you do we will issue a strike ballot immediately but we have been ordered to put it to you, and in order to do that we have to hold our nose and pretend to recommend it'.

If BASSA think that this is the best deal they can get they should put out a positive statement to that effect clearly recommending that members vote for it . If they don't like they should say so and then deal with the consequences of that decision.

Regards
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:46
  #282 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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That 'secret' court case

Being a sad bunny with nothing better to do on a Sunday evening, I trawled through BAILII. This is the list of court cases that have been heard and the outcome. Bunged in British Airways as the search criteria and it came up with all manner of cases where the company name had occurred. Oddly enough there was nothing, absolutely nothing about a case involving BA and any cabin crew members suing over removal of staff travel. Ah, I hear you say, that's because it was a recent case and it probably hasn't been recorded yet. But the latest date I saw details of was one in October 2010. Moreover, any such case would be a landmark hearing which other lawyers would wish to reference in future. So far from being secret, the legal profession would have an intense interest in the outcome and make certain that it was well documented.

So how come the total absence of any record ? Unless it never happened except in the fertile imagination of one of BASSA's finest. I rest my case.
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:52
  #283 (permalink)  
 
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binsleepin

Believe me, I understand the point you are making. However, most posters on both threads allude to the silent majority. Now I am a union man (now that would make a catchy song) and would love a closed shop, with punishment in law, if you did not vote (with the option of apathy on the ballot paper), because in my mind, you are an employee who belongs to a union.

The recommendation takes the executive out of the equation; isn't that what everybody wanted?
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 21:56
  #284 (permalink)  
 
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So how come the total absence of any record ? Unless it never happened except in the fertile imagination of one of BASSA's finest. I rest my case.

Because it was secret
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 07:59
  #285 (permalink)  
 
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Now I am a union man (now that would make a catchy song) and would love a closed shop
Is it not a little a little hypocritical to talk of democratic rights while holding an aspiration that would deny workers a democratic right to not be part of a union?

The abolition of closed shops, voting by a show of hands and the enforced political levy was a massive step forward in UK industrial relations and allowed the country to move away from the industrial blackmail the so characterised the 1970's. Amongst other legislative measures it broke the power of the overmighty union barons. As a union member, I am saddened to hear that there is still a yearning within the union movement for a return to the bad old days of the 1970s when the unions were instrumental in making British Manufacturing Industry what it is today - extinct.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 08:41
  #286 (permalink)  
 
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Juan Tugoh

I think you have missed the point of my post. A closed shop would be far more democratic, in that every employee in the affected area would be able to vote.

Legislation dictates that to be able to negotiate, you need union recognition. To be able to vote on awards, you need recognition, but many have said on here, that you have a minority dictating to the majority. Is that fair?
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 08:56
  #287 (permalink)  
 
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Juan, I can't speak for those who decided upon strike action in the 1970's but grew up against it. I think many are anti union today in the UK because of the hype surrounding a terrible era. HOWEVER..........

Aviation today specifically in the UK is all about cut backs apparently to compete on the global stage. So now we have a world leading British industry, aviation, that is committing suicide without union help.

To compete effectively on a global stage the workforce needs to earn whatever the lowest figure is out there is before management cease with the cutbacks.

So who is really to blame for destroying an industry?

The coal miners as I remember were fighting against pit closures because the UK was apparently not able to compete with European subsidized pits. Aviation is unable to compete with the far east or Malta with its lower cost base.

Do you play along until you can't afford to go to work or do you stand and fight?

If you go along with it you lose your job eventually, if you fight it, the unions are monsters, dinosaurs.

Who has the right answer?
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 08:56
  #288 (permalink)  
 
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I think you have missed the point of my post. A closed shop would be far more democratic, in that every employee in the affected area would be able to vote
.

Litebulbs, how can obligatory membership of any organisation be democratic? By definition it is not so.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:05
  #289 (permalink)  
 
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Do you play along until you can't afford to go to work or do you stand and fight?
So much discussion about pay again.

This IA started because the CSD was asked to assist in the service, thats all. What a dogs dinner the union has made over it. Pick your fights with care, although it's too late now of course this fight was picked as the Union's stand and it's been lost, totally lost.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:09
  #290 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry SNAS I should have added that the comment was meant generally and not in defence of this particular strike action.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:09
  #291 (permalink)  
 
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Shack37

What you want is for everybody to vote. OK, the vote does not have to be for anything (apathy option), but everybody should have the choice.

How do I get to vote? I belong to a union. So how do I get everyone to vote? I get them all into the union.

There is another way, however. Allow the right to negotiate without union recognition. Extend the negotiating rights to the ICE regulations. Then every employee has a voice.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:11
  #292 (permalink)  
 
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is it a 'recommendation'?

like others on PPRuNe forums, i have great respect for Litebulbs and his measured approach to this dispute. however, i cannot, and never have as a TU member in the past, seen any real benefit in the closed shop. surely, if you cannot convince people of the benefits of union membership, you should not coerce them into unwilling membership? how can that be justified?

likewise, as a dispassionate outsider, i believe the Unite statement falls very far short an endorsement of the offer. whether it constitutes a covert invitation to vote 'no' is a matter for individual interpretation.

on another aspect, i see the BA employee banned from wearing her (christian) cross is to take her case to the european court. This sits rather awkwardly with the various posts relating to yellow lanyards and pens being displayed by striking CC: a case of rather tangled double standards surely?
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:28
  #293 (permalink)  
 
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A closed shop would be far more democratic
Deny choice to allow choice? I'm sorry but this is errant nonsense.

Henry Ford started the ever increasing spiral in Western wages for the good of his business with the $5 wage, paying more than double the average hourly rate. He did this in order to allow his workers to be able to buy his products. Ultimately to compete for skilled labour, his competitors had to follow suit.

This trend increased the cost of material goods in the west and was, for the early part of the 20th century, successful as the "other" economies simply did not have the abililty to compete. Once the "other" economies of the world caught up and could produce the same goods for lower prices due to lower unit costs, western industry was doomed to evolve or die.

Ultimately over many years this process will lead to similar unit costs of production world-wide but it will take many years. The economy that "wins" will be the one with the remaining industry and infrastructure when then process is complete.

BA does not hold a monopoly of anything. It delivers a product that sells on price - if the price is too high, customers move to competing airlines. BA has positioned itself at the high or luxury end of the market and so must deliver a consistently high class product to survive. It is a truism that when a customer pays a lot for a service, not only must it be high quality but it must also be highly flexible and move with the cutting edge of possibility.

UNITE and particularly BASSA move with the speed of a glacier, they are a force for stagnation not for flexibility, they have forgotten that the health of the company that pays their employees is paramount - without a healthy company there are no employees and hence no union members.

The NUM may have been protesting about pit closures due to an inability to compete with cheaper foreign pits but how successful were the unions at protecting those jobs? How many miners jobs are there in the UK now? How many members of the NUM are there in the UK now?

Unions need to fundamentally change their relationship with the very thing that gives them life and livelihood and start working with the companies that employ their members. Squabbling over unimportant issues and dreaming of a return to the days of the closed shop are symptomatic of a failure to grasp the reality of where we in western industry stand. It is time for the union movement to evolve - if it does not it will surely die. It is time for the union movement to once again become a force for revolution not stagnation.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:39
  #294 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Juan Tugoh View Post
Deny choice to allow choice? I'm sorry but this is errant nonsense.
Thank you for your choice of words.

To have a choice is to have a voice. How do you realise that voice? At this time, the only way is to be a union member.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:40
  #295 (permalink)  
 
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(Fair enough Saftey, I'm obviously snappy this moaning )

I have to agree with Lightbulbs on the recommendation issue, the Union has recommended the offer. The degree to which they have their arms shoved up their backs and regardless of how ungracious, reluctant and sulking the recommendation might be (and it is rather isnít it) they have nevertheless recommended it.

Much like the child forced to apologise, no one believes he means it, but so long as the words are spoken generally everyone is happy(ish).

What type of whispering campaign will be conducted in crew report on the busses and in the galleys is another matter, but lets give all the benefit of the doubt shall we until we know otherwise.

Personally Iíd quite like to see the silly red eyes removed from Mr Walshís picture on the UNITE at BA web page before I can believe that any form of adult discussion is actually going on. If their public facing web presence is their face, then their face is rather childish.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:42
  #296 (permalink)  
 
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To have a choice is to have a voice. How do you realise that voice? At this time, the only way is to be a union member.
Hmm, awkward but true.

In this particular instance however BA has sidestepped the issue to a degree by making the offer available to non-union members of course.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:49
  #297 (permalink)  
 
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UNITE and particularly BASSA move with the speed of a glacier, they are a force for stagnation not for flexibility, they have forgotten that the health of the company that pays their employees is paramount - without a healthy company there are no employees and hence no union members.
Juan, those miners jobs were going anyway. The pits were going to be closed because they could not compete.

This is the real issue facing all of us. We cannot compete, we cannot evolve enough to compete with the lowest cost based operator out there. The only way to match them is for the workforce to work for the same terms and conditions. Is this really viable in Europe? I think not.

Therefore we need a solution to the real problem. The real problem is we are unable to compete on equal terms thereby damaging the companies health. Possibly a political solution is required or we all accept that every business will run its course and the day will eventually come when it has to close because it can't compete.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:54
  #298 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Snas View Post
In this particular instance however BA has sidestepped the issue to a degree by making the offer available to non-union members of course.
The idea was clever, but it didn't have the affect they were hoping for I imagine, other than giving an indication of BASSA support.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 10:33
  #299 (permalink)  
 
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The idea was clever, but it didn't have the affect they were hoping for I imagine, other than giving an indication of BASSA support.
Perhaps Iím being naive but I donít think BA was hoping for a specific result as such. I think they were just allowing those members who had made a decision to not join or leave the Union to decide their own future - (so far as any of us can) and not be dictated to by the democratic and vocal minority of BASSA voters.

BASSA, who letís face it, have already assisted in denying CC the opportunity to vote on the MTP and an additional free ticket and also offered a pay cut (where non was being asked), again with no vote.

As far as being democratic is concerned BASSA are not really a good example to say the least. The fact that representatives were elected once back in the day doesnít give them the right to run amok thereafter without regard for the views of the members.

Is it so farfetched to think that BA felt genuinely sorry for some (non-union) CC caught up in all the crap and offered them a side road?

(Though if they take their example from MPís I can understand the problemÖ!)

BA gave some CC, my partner being one of them, an escape road. Ignoring IA disruption and other items of silliness so far as contracts and Tís and Cís are concerned her view is that sheís out of it all, and feels all the better for it. To her BASSAís actions are now a sideshow to be watched with morbid interest only.

Do you see this differently?
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 10:34
  #300 (permalink)  
 
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Safety Concerns,

We cannot compete, we cannot evolve enough to compete with the lowest cost based operator out there.
business is more subtle than that, we do not directly compete with the Lo-co's, BA makes the majority of it's money across the North Atlantic, so we need to provide a consistently high quality and flexible product for a reasonable price in this area. Stupid tactics like trying to prevent the closing of window blinds and other restrictive practices are only going to lead to the company failing to compete and losing business. Even if it is the ultimate fate of BA to go bust, would it be better that this happens this year or in twenty years. Twenty years of pay, and twenty years in which the business conditions may well change and a solution discovered.

Litebulbs

To have a choice is to have a voice. How do you realise that voice? At this time, the only way is to be a union member.
Not being a union member is also a choice. If you do not want to make that choice and have a voice, that is an individual decision, it is not for any organisation to allow it's self-interest to decide that an individual's choice is irrelevant.

If it is so important for all to be union members, why are the unions not offering their services for free, allowing members to pay what they feel the union membership is worth? Closed shops are about one thing and one thing only - union power.

It is not in some way anti-democratic to be decide you do not want to be part of a union. It is not anti-democratic to decide you do not want to vote, it is not anti-democratic to decide you do not wish for your voice to be heard. Forced union membership and closed shops have the democratic credentials of North Korea.
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