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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

Old 25th Oct 2010, 10:52
  #301 (permalink)  
 
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Democracy and representation…

There’s always a dilemma when you have a majority of employees in a particular group who want to be represented by a union and a minority who don’t. As I recall BALPA (and I am sure others) resolved this “in the old days” with a “union shop” arrangement with BA. While a “closed shop” makes membership of the union a condition of employment, in a “union shop” the terms and conditions of all the employees (e.g. pilots) are negotiated with the union (e.g. BALPA), but the employees aren’t required to actually join the union. If the union negotiates benefits the non-members get them too. As the union members are also paying dues by payroll deduction (in BALPA’s case I think it was/is 1% of salary) the non-members were getting not just a free ride in terms of negotiation but actually were better off financially, so they also had the equivalent of the union subs deducted but this was paid to a charity of their own nomination.

To avoid the issue of the company controlling the ability of union representatives to have time to do business, (refusing to “de-roster”) there was a deal whereby a “pool” of work days was controlled by the union General Secretary, who decided what meetings should be attended and by whom. The union calculated how much time it needed for representation, and how many full-time people that was equivalent to. These is was paid for either by all employees giving a day off a year (I think), or the total head-count was increased by this number. The company didn’t pay an increased overall payroll cost, as when their global pay bill was divided by this increased number, every employee effectively then took a tiny pay cut to pay for them. I can’t recall all the exact details and it may have been some combination of both, but it worked pretty effectively.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 10:58
  #302 (permalink)  
 
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Juan Tugoh

I have never heard of secret postal ballots in North Korea.

I believe reform is needed. You make a solid argument that closed shops are a bad thing, based on history. With the current system, 25%+1 of a workplace can decide what the other 75%-1 will get. Fair? Not really.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 11:14
  #303 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

With the current system, 25%+1 of a workplace can decide what the other 75%-1 will get
I completely agree that the system that allows a minority to decide for the majority is on the face of it unfair. The problem lies in the view that not voting is also a political act, a positive decision rather than an act of omission or apathy. It is a problem far bigger than an industrial one - there is the wider issue that a minority of voters can ensure that a disliked political party can be elected so long as a majority of the minority vote for them.

While we have a law that allows a very small majority of workers to force union recognition and collective bargaining on a company this problem will not go away - perhaps all deals should be put to all workers irrespective of union membership and the result be binding on the union. That way the union controls the issues they are prepared to negotiate on, but has to abide by the will of all workers. The union controls the argument but not the result. It would also encourage the union to be more inclusive, to have to take into account the views of those that disagree with them.

Whatever the solution may be, I remain convinced that forcing people to be part of a union is anti democratic and counter productive, even inimical to the well being of the company.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 11:19
  #304 (permalink)  
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I'm a little bit appaled by the ongoing discussion on the CC thread.
Apparently it is felt that the new LHR MF pay is too low and folk can't live on it.

I've got news for you, it is, as far as I know, very similar to what existing LGW BA crew are earning now, you know the ones that have some members of Unite among them.
The ones that BASSA offered a paycut for!

So if MF pay is low, what are you going to do about LGW crew?

(and before anyone greets this with shock, the LGW pay has often been mentioned amongst all these threads - but it's all about LHR isn't it?)
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 11:30
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Juan Tugoh View Post
Whatever the solution may be, I remain convinced that forcing people to be part of a union is anti democratic and counter productive, even inimical to the well being of the company.
I would quite happily in principle remove the requirement to belong to a union and have 50%+1 membership, to allow negotiating rights, if the same rights were given to workplace forums. You could still ballot the workplace to see if a collective approach was wanted.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 12:07
  #306 (permalink)  
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In fact the starting salary at LGW is LOWER than MF at £10,815.

Some of the T & C's are better (perhaps)

So go on, I dare someone who can to post this in the CC thread for some of the BASSA supporters to answer/discuss!
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 12:07
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

I am not sure that union membership is in itself is an issue. It benefits both workers and employer to have collective bargaining. What causes problems is when a union (like BASSA) does not represent a significant proportion of the workforce and a large number of that union (who have a voice due their membership of said union) cannot be bothered to vote, thus allowing a small, vocal and militant minority to effectively dictate to the majority of workers when they are in dispute with the company.

It has been mooted before that it should be a majority of employees not a majority on union members that voted that should be the litmus test before IA is allowed to happen. This would not prevent IA for genuinely held widespread issues to be given their ultimate expression, but would prevent the worst excesses of union power.

It would also perhaps encourage more people to vote and to be aware of the issues at their workplace.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 12:44
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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Well, we will all find out soon enough. I just hope the turnout is high, as there is a health majority of BASSA/Unite members.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 12:55
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west lakes:

I believe what you are seeing with some of the posts regarding Mixed Fleet is simply a reaction to a perceived (and potentially real) threat to the legacy crew of BA.

The simple fact is that the salary is comparable to Gatwick.

As I've stated before, the proof will be the quality of applicants and the customer service provided by Mixed Fleet. If the results are negative they are negative.

However, if the results are positive, and BA has managed to provide a Fleet with high passenger satisfaction rates, and Mixed Fleet stays more flexible and realistic in their approach, then Legacy Crew has a problem with the argument "We're paid more because we're better".

I'm looking forward to experiencing Mixed Fleet's product.

As for the Closed Shop issue...the most obvious argument against such a notion is Duncan Holley. Being forced to let an individual such as that "speak for me" is enough to send many a thinking person running.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 13:17
  #310 (permalink)  
 
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As for the Closed Shop issue...the most obvious argument against such a notion is Duncan Holley. Being forced to let an individual such as that "speak for me" is enough to send many a thinking person running.
This is so spot on the mark it hurt me laughing.

The idea of being forced into membership with people such as those I have come to know so well since the start of this would indeed cause me to seriously consider taking employment in the first please were I to have known in advance what they were made off.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 16:18
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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If current LHR crew really are so concerned about the salaries of Mixed Fleet there is still tens of millions of productivity savings that could be unlocked from current restrictive practices that could fund salary increases for Mixed Fleet.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 21:31
  #312 (permalink)  
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a reaction to a perceived (and potentially real) threat to the legacy crew of BA
Possibly, or is it an attempt to try to sabotage the MF concept?



then Legacy Crew has a problem with the argument "We're paid more because we're better
Given that LGW generally score higher in customer satisfaction than LHR (as commented on often in both threads) I would suggest that some LHR legacy crew already have a problem.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 23:39
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Snas View Post
This is so spot on the mark it hurt me laughing.

The idea of being forced into membership with people such as those I have come to know so well since the start of this would indeed cause me to seriously consider taking employment in the first please were I to have known in advance what they were made off.
The thought would then be that DH would not be representing you because you and those of similar views would have voted for another candidate. Unless of course yours was the minority view.....
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 06:43
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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You mean in the same way the closed shops were bastions of moderation and restraint in the late seventies, Call100?
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 08:18
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I rarely bother to comment despite reading this forum regularly but I thought this rather lighthearted article on the dangers of closed shop unions and how they destroy a union as surely as incompetent management.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/dri...icle384268.ece

No closed shop has ever resulted in long term stability - just closure of the company in question.
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 11:12
  #316 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Papillon View Post
You mean in the same way the closed shops were bastions of moderation and restraint in the late seventies, Call100?
Like the Master and Servants Act promoted equality and broke down the class system?
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 11:15
  #317 (permalink)  
 
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A palpable hit, 'Bulbs! But at least the servants had some status thereafter; prior to that they had none at all - no legal rights, no?
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 11:34
  #318 (permalink)  
 
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I’m struggling to remember (so much has happened) but did the last consultative ballot, the quickie that BASSA ran themselves that rejected the last BA offer, include Gatwick crew. For some reason I seem to recall that it didn’t. But I may well be wrong of course.

Anyway, the question is will this one be including them?

Last edited by Snas; 26th Oct 2010 at 11:49.
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 12:14
  #319 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jimtherev View Post
A palpable hit, 'Bulbs! But at least the servants had some status thereafter; prior to that they had none at all - no legal rights, no?
Very true. That is what happens when you look at one thing in isolation. It is similar to looking at a period in one decade to show unions are bad. Yes, it was the unions fault, but things move on.
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 15:37
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Originally Posted by Papillon View Post
You mean in the same way the closed shops were bastions of moderation and restraint in the late seventies, Call100?
Apples and Oranges....Your missing the point...Today a secret, independent ballot now has to take place legally....Not all in the car park, hands in the air or else....
If you wish to have a different point of view, then fine. At least make it different to the point that was being made.
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