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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

Old 27th Oct 2010, 11:44
  #361 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cumbria
Posts: 586

I can agree with much of your sentiment. The idea of a closed shop is an extremist view.

It does not "give greater voice" it takes away voices and silences the individual.

Its attractiveness to unions is obvious. How nice it would be to not be judged by performance when you are guaranteed a following..even if those followers are shackled.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 11:44
  #362 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 88
Thats fine and I hope you are not working for one a company which has collective bargaining.
Unfortunately I am, and the result is that I'm stuck with the union negotiated agreement rather than being rewarded according to my own performance and worth. An agreement that, of course, does nothing to consider my expectations. In fact it acts against them as, because I am not a member, the union has absolutely no interest in my situation - which would be OK by me, except that they influence my pay packet. I moved on from my previous job precisely because my market value exceeded significantly the salary that several years of union negotiation had forced upon me.

As for Call100's comments, Jaun has it spot on. To quote Thomas Jefferson, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." The malign influence of the Left has to be countered whenever it raises its head, because apathy leads to dictatorship by a self-serving minority.

Last edited by pvmw; 27th Oct 2010 at 12:18.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 11:49
  #363 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cumbria
Posts: 586

Regarding this ideal:

legally trained and experienced colleague
My observations regarding BASSA (and this is a BASSA oriented thread) is that "legally trained" is hardly the order of the day when providing representation for their membership.

If I was a member of BASSA going into a disciplinary proceeding the first thing I would say is "No thank you" to having someone who believes that the acme of communication and wise conduct is wearing men's knickers with Mr. Walsh's photo on them, and retain myself competent counsel.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 11:53
  #364 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Gatwick
Posts: 1,964

I have no doubt that you would be able to represent yourself competently. Could you say that all of the 12000+ employees in question could do the same?
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 12:17
  #365 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 458
Closed Shop .. Yes / No

This closed shop discussion has provided me with some fascinating reading today, so thank you all for that. Iíd personally fight tooth and nail before I was ever forced to be a member of anything but the Human race, and I sometimes wish I could opt out of that to be honest.

But, I also agree that a vocal and excitable majority of a minority, that choose to vote, deciding what happens, good or bad, for the majority is equally unappealing.

Rock and hard place clearly.

Alas however in this particular thread, relating to BASSA specifically, I donít think that you, Litebulbs, are ever going to generate a killer argument in favour of closed shop memberships as this particular branch is so bloody awful, by just about every measure I can think of.

(Ask people on a beach infested with jellyfish if beaches are good)

It does rather handicap you Iím afraid. In another forum less specific perhaps you might generate more consideration of your point, in here I think you are buggered old bean..
and I therefore declare myself as a "no thanks" in the closed shop debate.

Öand before people remind me that BASSA canít be that bad as they are responsible for the Tís&Cís that CC now enjoyÖ. you are only as good as your last movie/album/match and yes negotiation with your employer even.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 12:26
  #366 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Gatwick
Posts: 1,964

Thanks for the response. You are correct, but the 1970's rhetoric is not relevant today, especially under the current Government. I am sure if I took the debate to the BASSA forum, I would be equally shouted down, for other things that I have said.

As long as we look to the past, nothing will change.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 12:47
  #367 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 458
You are correct, but the 1970's rhetoric is not relevant today
Whilst I would agree with that in regards to the TU movement of today, once again with this IA and this union branch specifically we have seen a fair bit of exactly that sort of past played out again, the ďIíll fight until the company diesĒ kindaí crap.

Balance is good, and you provide more of that than would be here otherwise but itís going to be an eternal struggle in this thread whilst referring to this branch, NOT that Iím suggesting you give up however. Itís all interesting after all.

For lunch time light relief Iíll provide an example for you from my own home: -

I have always been politically active and standing more on the left certainly, in favour of unions and always have been. Not that I have ever been a member of one but as an employer my workforce once numbered over 2,000, employ that many and you appreciate a good union I can promise you.

Now, my partner, CC 15 years, never really politically minded and certainly not a union person. Was a CC89 member, because thatís what you did at Gatwick, where she started.

Now if I attempt to start the ďUnions can be a force for goodĒ discussion she opens the BASSA home page on her lap top, points it at me and walks away without saying a word Ė and the argument is hers, I have to concede defeat.

BASSA is her only direct experience of unions, so sheís lost to the idea forever.

Last edited by Snas; 27th Oct 2010 at 13:04.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 12:49
  #368 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: uk
Posts: 88
As long as we look to the past, nothing will change.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". How apposite, given the current state of the economy!!!
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 14:06
  #369 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tracey Island
Posts: 1,496
Originally Posted by Juan Tugoh View Post
Allowing rubbish to be debated unchallenged as if it is entirely legitimate lends it a credence it does not deserve. To challenge such dangerous anti-democratic nonsense as the closed shop is not only reasonable, it is sensible. Allowing rubbish like this to be discussed as if it were reasonable allows extreme views to flourish, what other democratic rights would you like to be quietly done away with so that your views are allowed to take hold?

That is why people get "hot under the collar" when someone suggests we do away with democratic rights because they do not fit in with the views of one particular pressure group, in this case the unions. Thank God it has no chance of becoming law.
I didn't suggest allowing the debate to go unchallenged. Once more, for yourself and the others who have difficulty keeping up...My comment did not condone, support, or demand the closed shop.
The point was made that had there been one at BASSA and compulsory secret ballots had voted in the reps, the incumbents may not have been voted in.
Which part of "You were also wrong (again) in your assumption that I would expect everyone to regard the closed shop as reasonable." or "I respect your right to belong or not belong", escaped you?
That said,, a suggestion is not rubbish just because you believe it to be.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 15:32
  #370 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: N. Spain
Age: 76
Posts: 1,309
The question always comes back to encouraging people to vote. Even in a closed shop there is no guarantee everyone will vote, or vote according to their own conscience and belief. Closed shop is not, nor ever has been the answer.
The apathetic, the "it's OK, the others will make the right decision for me" and the downright "couldn't give a toss" brigades need to be convinced that their vote matters.
This dispute has been prolonged, not by Bassa branch officials intransigence or WW stubborness, it is entirely due to the apathy of the majority of Bassa members allowing a minority of their brethen to dictate policy.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 16:09
  #371 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Gatwick
Posts: 1,964
You could remove the requirement of union independance and make it a mater of discipline if you do not vote. However, there could be a no opinion option.

My biggest concern is with the current Government and the muted changes, then not voting will count as a vote.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 16:39
  #372 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 219
I'm not sure that will happen LB. The trouble with any of those ideas about a non-vote counting as a vote against is that you can make exactly the same kind of point for a general election or plebiscite. It's a can of worms that politicians are exceptionally wary of opening. And rightly too, frustrating as it might be that a strike vote can happen on a low turnout, it's still for the union members on either side to actually bother to vote. If they don't, judging that non-vote to be on one side or the other is also undemocratic. You see, it's democracy that matters to most of all, not pro or anti-union bias.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 19:03
  #373 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
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I have just gone back and read my closed shop statement. It was the wrong choice of words. For that I am sorry.

I am not a militant and in no way want to empower the unions in a direct way, using business and the ability to cripple it as a tool to further political gain. I have tried to explain my views, but it is easier just to say that I was wrong to make the comment.

You live and learn.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 19:06
  #374 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hamptonne
Posts: 384
MissM appears to be extremely solicitous for the welfare of her new Mixed Fleet colleagues:
There are too many loopholes in this proposal.

Routes will not be transferred on commercial need or on a fair basis. They will be transferred based solely on how much they cost to operate. In a few years time you can be certain that those of our on WW will be operating mostly to India.

Meanwhile, Willie Walsh will be looking at having his salary increased by 22% when BA and IB merge.
Perhaps it might be better for MissM and her fellow BASSAcentrics to concentrate on the more pressing matter of her own future? Surely her own terms and conditions should be uppermost in her mind?

More to the point, why is she sticking her nose in matters that are no concern of hers? After all, she and her ilk are dead set against the advent of Mixed Fleet.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 22:04
  #375 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LHR
Posts: 741
Dare I suggest that there are forces within Unite determined not to see a settlement? The message from a "member" has some very familiar undertones.


27th October 2010 - Ballot Update


We were hoping that the ballot on the offer would have been posted to you by now. However it is being delayed by legal issues. One of these is the litigation mentioned in Walsh's side letter. What exactly would have to given up by both sides in the claims going through courts is supposedly still not finalised. This is a very important part of any deal, and you need to know exactly what claims we would both have to concede.

Hopefully this delay will only be short. If, however this does put back our ballot more than a few days, we will have to consider reducing the amount of time the ballot runs for, as all of you are anxious for an outcome and all our subsequent options must remain open to us.

26th October 2010 - MSG from a Member

On Friday BA will announce interim results which will show that the airline has moved into profit. It is expected that we will have a profit of around £60m for the half year so far. This includes all the costs of the volcano, plus the cabin crew dispute, estimated at over £200m in direct costs, plus well over £1bn lost in forward bookings.

Our union always said that temporary measures were needed for a temporary problem. Walsh insisted that there had been "structural change" and that the airline would never again be profitable without major concessions from employees on pay and conditions. Less than 18 months ago, Walsh stated that BA "was in a fight for survival" and "had only six months to survive".

In only July of last year Walsh said he was worried that BA's front-of-cabin traffic may never "get back to previous volumes'' Ė or that by the time it does, BA will be on its knees. Such traffic fell by 17 per cent in May and April 2009 and Walsh said he saw no signs of recovery.

Walsh sees no sign of recovery. Walsh sees no sign of recovery. Repeat as necessary..........How wrong can someone in his position be in such a short time?

Quite simply Walsh has attempted to use a downturn to screw his workforce and now it has backfired. BA's underlying financial health is so robust, that it couldn't help making a small operating profit in the third quarter of last year! Walsh is guilty of talking our airline down. He has depressed the share price by his downbeat comments, which are no more than insider trading in another form. QC John Hendy accused Walsh and BA in the recent High Court action, over the airline deliberately nad artificially enhancing the downturn it knew was coming, by not carrying over profit "from the peak year of 2007-08".

How must those staff who worked for a month for free now feel? They have been taken for mugs. And even worse are BA's pilots. What a shameful episode for them. Duped into believing that BASSA was out to destroy BA and their cosy little agreement, hundreds of them volunteered to fly as Scabs to break the legitimate dispute of their cabin crew colleagues. How stupid they look now, with their cheer leading morons on PPRuNe still trying to save face over the justification for their actions. What were those "books" that BALPA saw showing BA in such a dire financial position? How inaccurate those figures now appear to be. Who in BALPA is going to take responsibility for leading its members up the garden path, volunteering pay cuts and whipping up anti cabin crew sentiment? Where is the Airbus Captain? He has some explaining to do.

What goes around. comes around. It is all unravelling for Walsh and if the litigation over impositon goes badly for BA, he will have no option but to resign. He used a false premise that the airline was doomed last year, to con employees like the pilots into giving up pay.

Walsh is "entirely responsible" for his actions which has caused BA to lose so much money, over an unnecessary confrontation with his front line staff. Don't forget BA wanted £140m in savings.....that was NOT the difference between the two sides which was closer to £10m. He and his "dysfunctional management" have dragged BA through the gutter rubbishing staff who did not agree with his view and damaged the brand over such a relatively small amount. Unless of course, his agenda was simply union busting........Now that would explain everything.

So what now? Revenge is a dish best served cold. Reject the latest proposal.

Keep the faith!
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 00:59
  #376 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 73
It appears to me that while BASSA are a challenge for Unite they are basically irrelevant to anybody else. They do not like the deal Unite has agreed to but are powerless to call a strike. There will not be a Christmas strike. The position of the majority of BASSA members is perplexing. They seem to be willing to sit it out and let those more involved decide their future, but I do not think they will be willing to strike. The world continues to turn and BA will continue to execute their business plan.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 07:52
  #377 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 127
BASSA are like a stag beetle on its back. Legs, arms and claws in the air and nothing to fight with.

There will not be a Christmas strike.
Agreed! It would be hopeless since Unite, especially as comrade McCluskey will be seriously engaged with the firefighters, whose Commissioner stated last night that if their dispute is not resolved by November 18th ALL firemen will be given new contracts followed by redundancy! So BASSA is seemingly of no consequence to their mate 'Lenny.'

Walsh is guilty of talking our airline down.
No, BASSA wanted to but spectacularly lost.

Quite simply Walsh has attempted to use a downturn to screw his workforce and now it has backfired.
Blatantly untrue. The workforce of BA is massively behind it. BASSA is NOT the whole workforce.

So, unless ("call me irresponsible" McCluskey) is prepared to flip the stag beetle BASSA will shrivel and die.

The BA cabin staff are and always will be the best and they do not deserve the self serving leaders and reps of BASSA. They do, however, deserve honesty and integrity from both BASSA and Unite. Let us hope that UNITE will dis-engage BASSA.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 09:11
  #378 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 35
Messenger from a Member

Is it only me, or do others view the "message from a member" as being, not only a call to reject the latest offer, but also, as it is on the Unite website, that it is being given support from the union, and hence breaks part of the requirement for the offer? Is this the real reason for the delay - BA have responded to it by withdrawing the offer?

We have yet to see (or have reported here) an ACTIVE statement of support for the offer from Unite/BASSA, only a passive one (the "we're supporting it because we have to....").

There is also a lot of comment about will Unite allow BASSA to have a stike ballot - I'm guessing that Unite have struck a deal with BASSA along the lines of: "Don't be stupid, follow the requirements of the deal, and if it gets rejected by the members, then we will support a ballot for a strike. BUT if you don't, we won't allow the ballot." This would fit with the lack of BASSA saying anything of note - they can see the benefit of shutting up.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 09:17
  #379 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sur le continong
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That 'MSG from a member' bears the unmistakeable imprint of Duncan Holley. I thought that Unite had been warned that the offer was conditional on an improvement in the tone of communications emerging from the union?

Edit: Oops - SwissRef beat me to it
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 09:23
  #380 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 458

Reading between the lines of some of the latest info from BASSA I think they are having an internal struggle with the condition concerning the cessation of all court action relating to the dispute.

If there are some (many?) within BASSA that really believe that court action would succeed, on ST specifically I guess, then there will be a reluctance to abandon it, naturally.

However they canít really take a ballot of the members on whether they should ballot the members!

There are a bit stuck on this issue maybe with the only options being the reps taking a decision off their own backs (based on feedback perhaps but not a ballot of all) to ditch court action and go to ballot on offer, or reject the offer without a ballot and carry on with court.

Bit of an awkward one that eh, if my guess work is anything near close to whatís happening behind closed doors of course.
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