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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

Old 17th Nov 2010, 21:47
  #801 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
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AMICUS, the bit part players in the IA with only 40 strikers have effectively ruined the latest chance for a settlement - democracy in action? 20? Reps, looking after the interests of 40 CC, out of 13000 dictating whether there will be a consultative ballot on a settlement to the dispute.
It's actually worse than that. Consider. The reps would all have been duty bound to walk out on strike. So in fact only 19 ordinary members of CC89 walked off the job.
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Old 17th Nov 2010, 21:54
  #802 (permalink)  
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And so it continues:

17th November 2010 - AMICUS UPDATE - The Facts

The AMICUS/CC89 Committee would like you to be aware a few supportable and provable facts in the face of smooth talk and diversionary personal slights.

1. The BASSA Branch Chair was not present at yesterday’s meeting, or the last 3 negotiating committee meetings.

2. The AMICUS/CC89 senior reps were denied access to the meeting yesterday on the instruction of the BASSA Branch Secretary. If they attended – he would not attend.

3. The reaction you have witnessed to the AMICUS/CC89 article of 16th November 2010 is a direct result of the BASSA Committees nervousness about support (on their own forum) for AMICUS/CC89 and our views, supported by the majority of their membership. We put this down to human nature – but you still deserve the truth.

4. ALL AMICUS/CC89 reps have been barred from the BASSA Forum and committee emails.

5. The BASSA branch secretary has now twice ejected CC89 from the committee. The last time was yesterday, as a result of our article of 15th November 2010 – when apparently, without debate, his own blog was the FINAL position of us all. Democracy? What’s your view?

6. The BASSA branch committee ALL wished to accept the BA deal offered on 15th October, bar a handful of the newest reps who had to lecture the committee about their “principles” at a recent All Reps meeting in London.

7. Remember, these points are all supportable – many in print.

8. The BASSA Branch Committee allowed Unite to control and write their members communication on the subject of the offer. The review the offer itself content and the litigation review was controlled by Unite – the people who wanted us to recommend it. This was a watered down version of the truth – and you deserve more. We disagreed with their approach. You deserve the TRUTH together with clear indication as to the impact those items would have on your present and future career.

9. The BASSA Branch Committee wanted to continue with the recommendation of the offer – until we published our withdrawal and rejected the offer – and you responded with your approval of that position. Their hand was forced and they had to respond by following suit.

10. It was at this point AMICUS/CC89 published their 3 main articles (starting with the Formal Rejection on 3rd November . FRONT PAGE HOME PAGE ) but maintained a face of joint harmony between the committees within those articles, even though we had been `ousted’ and castigated for our view. Whilst we are committed to telling you the TRUTH, we felt that the BASSA committee ought to be given some breathing space, cut some `slack’ since their track record should and might eventually make them see sense. Written communications between us confirm this. The very next BASSA statement piggy-backed the extent of that courtesy because they KNEW they would be criticised by you if they did not. Their member’s forum posts helped them `see sense’ – but the praise for AMICUS was clearly a little too much for the BASSA committee to stomach.

11. The BASSA Chair has now clearly stated online that the BASSA Committee did not agree withthe view of the AMICUS/CC89 committee. We would like to suggest that you re-read the last 3 AMICUS/CC89 articles on this website so see exactly what it is that BASSA do not agree with. (. FRONT PAGE HOME PAGE)

12. The BASSA Committee DO NOT AGREE with the following statement (amongst all others since 3rd November 2010):

In order to restore the relationship [between the trade unions and BA] and for us all to recognise the merit of that intent, as we understand it, the issues that BA now need to resolve are very simple:

(i)return to the collectively agreed crewing levels (BA has spent far more on this dispute than removing crew was ever going to save);

(ii)acknowledgement that collective agreements will not be broken by BA and will only be varied by further negotiation and collective agreement;

(iii)reinstatement of all lost staff travel benefits to strikers (including accrued seniority/status tickets etc);

(iv)no victimisation (including full reinstatement of all those dismissed, and restoration to their former positions of all those otherwise penalised in this dispute (the foregoing are now identified in the current offer documentation as relevant employees and processed employees);

(v)in view of how the dispute came about and how negotiations since have been conducted, a recognition that the AMICUS/BASSA are the elected representatives of the cabin crew with whom all future negotiations will be conducted (save where existing collective agreements or AMICUS/BASSA otherwise expressly agree in advance).

13. AMICUS/CC89 have been offered a merger with the BASSA committee. We do not feel it is the right time for this to be considered, since we do not believe that the views of the BASSA committee are entirely representative of the whole joint membership. This has become clear in the last 3-4 weeks.

14. Any rep who sought to join BASSA did so under the impression that they would need 2 years membership in order to be considered a rep if there was to be a merger in the future.

15. We have been told by Unite, in no uncertain terms, that any rep who thinks we can address the matter of imposition now is on “a different planet”.

16. A member of the AMICUS/CC89 Committee has been told directly by Lenny McCluskey and the BASSA Branch Secretary to `wind his neck in’.

17. The BASSA position, as of yesterday – in the meeting with the JGS Tony Woodley was that the 4 points outlined in the BASSA Branch Secretary’s email were indeed the only 4 points required to end this dispute. The BASSA forum posts have provided a wishful get out clause, when hoping for the best i.e. that they were only just a starting point. Read the blog again. This is/was not the case.

18. Sometimes, it is human nature for individuals to think their past experience in different circumstances and different times is faultless and above reproach. We all admit that BA is a different animal these days and one which nobody from the TU side has ever experienced before. It is not important to be right, or to know best. It’s important to do the right thing for the membership and listen to their voice. According to the forum posts, we did this.

19. It is very easy to dismiss ones short comings by turning the issue in to a `personal attack’ as the BASSA Branch Chair has done today, rather than focusing on the actual issues. AMICUS refuse to make any of this personal. We will simply give you supportable facts and truth – and sometimes, that is uncomfortable to hear.

20. TW did indeed call an AMICUS/CC89 rep a “terrorist” and this was not challenged by any member of the BASSA Committee.

21. AMICUS/CC89 have requested an IA ballot to commence and whilst this is underway, talks can recommence to address all of the points in (12) above. This was denied. AMICUS/CC89 requested a time limit for the intended `return to talks’. None was given.

22. All costs of this dispute are carried by Unite.

23. AMICUS/CC89 will live through and weather any opportunistic personal attacks designed to undermine us and our position – but it will not change unless you wish it. The BASSA Branch Committee had lost touch with your views; do not want AMICUS/CC89 to be the ones who haven’t, and now for them, it’s become personal. Fibs, or half-truths have short legs.

We implore the BASSA Committee to lay down their swords against us, listen to the members, stop the personal and diversionary slights and get down to business - together.

24. AMICUS/CC89 will continue to tell the TRUTH no matter what is thrown at us. YOU deserve it, WE deserve it, and the BASSA Branch Committee deserves it.

25. This is no trivial storm in a tea cup – it is an indication of who or what is leading the BASSA Branch Committee. We sincerely hope they humble themselves and see the error of their ways, for all of our sakes.

26. Members can now join the new Email Update List via our website http://www.UniteBA.com
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Old 17th Nov 2010, 22:23
  #803 (permalink)  
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The reps would all have been duty bound to walk out on strike.
At least one of them was seen in uniform, on duty, on a strike day
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 08:18
  #804 (permalink)  
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This is farcical, utterly and totally farcical. Amicus v BASSA now and sorry to say they are acting like spoilt children who have had their ball taken away.

How can you take them seriously? The 'threat' here is that they are now fighting among themselves with NO regard for the members they represent, its a fight between each faction - in certain instances for their individual selfish reasons. They have lost the plot entirely.

Unite now have a major problem on their hands and I would doubt that Tony Woodley wants any part of it. But he has to act positively - its time to crack a few heads.

I wonder if WW would like to shout "enough is enough, if we cannot have a union who really knows what unions are for, then we don't want any at all."

The 'Gen Sec' of BASSA has an awful lot to answer for as the main protagonist. He is still trying to run things his way and unless he is removed this farce will run and run with no end in sight. Now BASSA and Amicus are causing untold damage to the cabin staff's well being. That is bad!

Its all becoming rather childish.

Last edited by RTR; 18th Nov 2010 at 08:29.
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 11:11
  #805 (permalink)  
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BA cabin crew undergo CRM as part of their annual checks along with flight crew colleagues.

The interaction of cabin and flight crew is essential to safe operation of any flight.

The British Midland incident proved this.

With out doubt ensuring cabin and flight deck work as a team is paramount.
Well obviously, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Instead it seems that many SCCM are reluctant to assert their authority because they're worried it would harm CRM... when in reality the priority should be:

1) Get the rest of the crew to do their jobs properly.
2) Worry about things like CRM.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 15:02
  #806 (permalink)  
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Waiting until Wednesday 24 November

The Ballot for the General Secretary of Unite is over
The member is responsible for posting the ballot paper in the envelope provided to reach the Independent Scrutineer by 4pm on 19 November 2010

We now wait for the result
Following the count the Independent Scrutineer will issue to the Joint General Secretaries the Ballot Result and Report for the General Secretary election.
Upon receipt of the Independent Scrutineer’s Report, the Executive Council will declare the Result and notify all branches.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 15:11
  #807 (permalink)  
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Bit of a tangent really but about the CRM issue - as far as I'm aware there is no more of a problem now than there has been previously. CRM does indeed cover the whole crew and thus the pilot/cabin crew interaction is important (note, it used to be called cockpit resource management which probably explains the misleading wiki entry).

The confusion comes from a large number of crew who really have no clear idea what CRM is actually about, and imagine it to be another way of saying 'be nice to each other'. It's not.

The Midland (kegworth) crash highlighted the need for effective communication between pilots and cabin crew, and that this had to be two way. It is possible to work well with the rest of the crew, communicate effectively, issue instructions when necessary and take information from others without being best mates with everyone.

Sadly this is a concept that many people struggle with. I have heard, in all seriousness, cabin crew say 'that Captain didn't even smile when he came onboard, that's not very good CRM is it?'.
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Old 19th Nov 2010, 18:50
  #808 (permalink)  
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Duncan is reported to have claimed in his lecture that a strike ballot will issued within two weeks with the aim of strikes in January 2011. We shall see....
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 09:53
  #809 (permalink)  
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Ah yes, I also read the report on Duncan's 'lecture' . Must have been a real thriller, managed to attract over 50 people - mainly students. His predictions are interesting - he obviously thinks that the negotiations can be concluded inside of two weeks and that they can automatically reject the offer from BA without consulting the membership. Novel, given that the last round of negotiations by Tony Woodley took about a month. Duncan also needs to recognise that negotiation involves compromise, a concept that seems to have so far eluded him.

My prediction. The negotiations will take a damn sight more than 2 weeks to conclude. Unite will insist that the branch put any offer to the membership potentially with no recommendation, but also with an independantly drafted explanation of it - i.e it won't have the usual BASSA rhetoric, but equally won't have management spin either. At ths juncture it is impossible to say how the union membership will react as there are no clear figures indicating how many are left. After the CC89 spat I would imagine that overall Unite probably has around 8000 cabin crew members. Anyone got a better estimate ?
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 10:37
  #810 (permalink)  
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Are we getting close to the point of BA asking Unite to prove it has the membership to be the Union of choice for cabin crew?

Now if I was Unite I would think hard about losing both BASSA and CC89 and run my own Cabin Crew branch of the union. Why? Well I reckon a lot of current crew still want Union representation but not the current set up. In one fell swoop order is restored.
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 11:29
  #811 (permalink)  
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The negotiations will certainly take a lot longer than two weeks to conclude. They may take even longer than that to get started!

I just cannot see BA jumping back into negotiations with TW after his failed attempt to have BA's last offer even recommended by the Branches let alone put to a consutlative ballot. It's BA's turn to call "no negotiation" but this time around on the very legitimate grounds that the Union's internal dysfunction is causing it to negotiate in bad faith.

Other than potential damage to future bookings, which is diminishing as the public realises the Union's threats are but a paper tiger, BA has every justification to wait until the Union can demonstrate it has got its house in order before re-engaging in talks. This may involve Branch leadership changes and other internal structural alterations needed to transform itself into and re-emerge as a coherent, functional and mature trade union representative body fit to take on the might and intellect of BA in the 21st Century.

Last edited by AV Flyer; 20th Nov 2010 at 13:53.
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 19:53
  #812 (permalink)  
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if I was Unite I would think hard about losing both BASSA and CC89 and run my own Cabin Crew branch of the union. Why? Well I reckon a lot of current crew still want Union representation but not the current set up. In one fell swoop order is restored.
Couldn't agree more - I suspect the wheels may already be in motion
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Old 20th Nov 2010, 21:13
  #813 (permalink)  
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It would be interesting to know the termination clause and its timescale.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 07:32
  #814 (permalink)  
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there is no legal minefield it is all very easy.

If a voluntary agreement is in place between BASSA and BA or Unite and BA then the ONLY people who can terminate that agreement are the signaturies.

A voluntary agreement is not covered as far as derecognition is concerned and therefore membership numbers/level of support is totally irrelevant.

If however there is a statutory agreement in place (which I know there isn't) then one, as in the bargaining group, could force a derecognition ballot.

It is this that the new cabin crew group have failed to grasp. So unless BA or Unite terminate the agreement it is status quo for a long time to come.

On that basis perhaps a more positive approach should be adopted by BA management as far as discussions with BASSA are concerned. What do you think Diplome?
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 08:42
  #815 (permalink)  
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Sorry Safety Concerns (post 816) can you straighten up my blurred tone-deaf thinking?

___1) Are you saying that the arrangement between Unite and BASSA is voluntary?
___2) Are you saying that one party (Unite) to the arrangement can terminate the policy?
___3) Are you saying that the other party (BASSA) has no legal redress?
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 08:47
  #816 (permalink)  
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IIRC BA offered Unite a voluntary recognition agreement for MF early on in the proceedings, which Unite turned down. Therefore what happens in MF is of no interest to Unite unless BA offers again, or Unite decides to get 50% plus of that group and go for statutory recognition. However, in the meantime, some other organisation could form/represent MF crews and request recognition from BA voluntarily (or VV), or statutorily.

nb Notlangley, I think SC means that the arrangement between BA and Unite(including its differnt branches BASSA and CC89) is voluntarily for TU Recognition purposes -ie it has not been subject to a Statutory Recognition Request. What the constitutional arrangements are for the relationship of BASSA and CC89 within Unite seem to be shrouded in mystery.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 08:56
  #817 (permalink)  
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notlangley post 817. As far voluntary agreements are concerned there is only one way to end them. Derecognition of voluntary agreements can only be achieved when one of the parties concerned terminates the agreement.

The legal redress is the statutory agreement route which then involves the numbers game.

So for those hard of hearing, BASSA membership could go down to 1 member and BASSA are still entitled to enforce the voluntary agreement within BA.

(as per hipennine clarification in post 818)

as for the situation between unite and bassa wait for the general secretary result. Could be more interesting.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 09:12
  #818 (permalink)  
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Tunes from the past

Four brooms in the cupboard
Each searching for happiness
Will BASSA get a clean sweep?
Its anybody’s guess

Last edited by notlangley; 21st Nov 2010 at 11:27.
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 11:20
  #819 (permalink)  
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Given the history of "negotiations" between BA and Unite, and the obvious inability of Unite to rein in the BASSA committee, I would have thought that for BA terminating the Voluntary agreement may well be tempting.

Force BASSA to prove, once and for all, just how much support they do have amongst the rank and file members. Could they actually reach the magic 50% + 1 threshold after their performance over the last 12 months?
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Old 21st Nov 2010, 11:24
  #820 (permalink)  
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With the greatest respect SC, I would suggest should BASSA's membership fall to one (1) then way before that the other 12,999 CC staff would have been begging, and thus giving a resounding mandate to, BA to terminate any voluntary recognition agreement which it would have been more than pleased to do.
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