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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions III

Old 29th Nov 2010, 08:19
  #941 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
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If you are planning to go away in Christmas 2011 I'd say it's almost certain the dispute will be over by then. BA do not have unlimited patience with the cabin crew, and the rapid growth of Mixed Fleet would negate any industrial action anyway.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 11:36
  #942 (permalink)  
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Latest from the CC89 branch:

28th November 2010 - Open Letter From AMICUS to Unite JGS Tony Woodley, and Len McCluskey

Open Letter - Without Prejudice.

28th November 2010

To: The JGS of Unite the Union
From: The Unite Cabin Crew/Amicus Section

Dear Sirs,

It has now been*almost 3*weeks since we met and the decision was taken to approach British Airways with four 'no cost' items that would enable the union to establish if the company was indeed sincere about their desire to find a MEANINGFUL settlement to this dispute.

The silence*speaks for itself.

As you will recall it was contrary to the position AMICUS Cabin Crew wished to adopt which was to go to an immediate industrial action ballot and use the intervening time to approach British Airways.

We must presume that British Airways has shown no interest in the items or the approach from Unite and has chosen not to respond. One can only surmise that this has been to ensure we are unable to organise and carry out any industrial action over the Christmas period.

Whilst we represent the minority of the membership and it was disappointing that more of our members appeared not to have supported the previous actions, we solemnly believe that we are left with little option but to call once again for an Industrial Action ballot. We believe that this reflects the broader view of popular opinion in the community – one which cannot now be ignored.

On a wider note, and to use the military vernacular that you favour, if the members represent the army, the committee the generals, then you must be the field*marshals? We must now ask you as the 'field marshals' to accept that the strategy recently adopted has not been as successful as we might have liked. Whilst it was one based soundly on being reasonable and attempting to find an equitable solution and agreement, British Airways leadership team have exploited that reasonableness and continued to restructure and IMPOSE changes at will. They have been relentless in what can only be termed as bullying and harassment towards the membership in a crude attempt to weaken their resolve. In truth, this has only served to raise our community’s anger and commitment to their principles even higher. BA’s approach has been summed up by the outgoing CEO, when he stated, for the record, that "a reasonable man gets nowhere in negotiations". How true that has proved to be.

We must therefore ask that Unite adopt a much needed change of strategy. For clarity we do not believe that this dispute will be settled on the picket line, we believe that it must be negotiated. However British Airways must be brought to the negotiating table with the genuine intention of finding a solution and not continuing to throw "take it or leave it" offers on the table that are designed to wear us down and punish us for enacting our lawful right to industrial action.

We believe that the lawful use of regular and de-stabilising strikes and the timely and proactive use of the judicial system will facilitate such an end. We need to address the legal issues that are presented to us with more urgency. We must ask that more emphasis is put on the existing legal challenges and they are*elevated and pursued more vigorously. We must petition you to instruct our legal team to action our appeal to the Supreme Court on the contract/crew compliments case.

For the benefit of those that might call into question our motives, please be assured it is the well being of this community to whom we are actively listening- as we are part of that community. We must resist the bully and ensure we are not battered into submission. We cannot take our eyes off the ball and lose sight of why we have taken this action.
It was IMPOSITION that sparked this struggle and it has NOT been adequately addressed in our opinion. Some may wish to write off that issue, but to do so would undoubtedly be to our collective peril. The introduction of mixed fleet is now living proof of that.

It is clear that the British Airways strategy is one designed to obliterate any form of meaningful representation, now and going forward. They are adopting the carefully organized union busting strategies of bullying and harassment in the workplace under the guise of `managing’; Diverting the dispute with issues they control and use as leverage to force settlement (i.e. staff travel); and treating us with contempt which is evident in their treatment of those disciplined and sacked, their treatment of the reps, andsubjecting us to a modern day "lock out". The time has now come for us all to effect change to our benefit.

Whilst the nature law of these things will have you supporting the view of the committee that represents the largest numbers, we sincerely hope that our view will not be dismissed and the merit and relevance of the minority's contribution will not continue to be ignored or lost. Weundertake to represent the views of the whole membership and to keep the team focused for the benefit of the collective.

Last edited by LD12986; 29th Nov 2010 at 19:26.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 11:49
  #943 (permalink)  
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They are fortunate that they are not relying on public sympathy or any good support in the media ...
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 12:13
  #944 (permalink)  
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Can I add a little clarity to some previous postings. DH is a LAY Rep and not General Secretary of BASSA he is Branch Secretary. BASSA is NOT a certified union it is Branch 2000 of TGWU now Unite.

He will not receive a pension from the union as there is no such scheme for lay reps.

However he will stay put as long as he can and draw his commission from members subs plus £100 per day (maybe more) and he is his own paymaster!
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 12:19
  #945 (permalink)  
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Never mind everyone, while all this obsessing about CSDs pushing trolleys,reductions in crew numbers etc has been going on ,99% of BA shareholders have this morning voted the company into oblivion as standalone business. Once the Iberia merger is completed in January it will in the words of the Chairman be"more like an airline brand, rather than a publicly owned financial entity". It's successor,owned for the opening few moments of trading ,56% by BA shareholders (Note NOT by BA,- that's gone bar the paintwork) and 44% by Iberia (also gone) will be the Spanish registered IAG -International Airlines Group.
Something more worth thinking about?

Last edited by Skylion; 29th Nov 2010 at 12:21. Reason: Clarification
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 13:16
  #946 (permalink)  
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another strike ballot on the way

BBC is reporting another Ballot for strike action will be issued

BBC News - BA cabin crew to be balloted on strike action

The actual grounds for this strike are not stated on the web site, but they do say:
The Unite union is complaining about BA's refusal to reinstate travel perks to crew members who have taken part in previous strikes.
If this is the "reason" it looks very fragile indeed.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 14:04
  #947 (permalink)  
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The ballot will be issued in 7 days time.. that would be 6th December.

Reason for the delay is so they can check who they are balloting..... Seeing as unite say there are 11,000 members, then it would seem this week is indeed needed to check the deplinished numbers of staff in the union!

With 4 weeks balloting (taking us to 3rd January), and one weeks notice of Industrial action (taking us to 10th January), the Union will miss their xmas strikes, despite comrade Len McCluskey's warnings to the contrary.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 15:41
  #948 (permalink)  
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Should be interesting legally. Will they find a reason for IA unconnected to the previous IA? Will BA take legal action to put a stop to it?
Will BA issue 90 day notice or just sit it out knowing that support for any strike action will be even less than last time and will the lemmings jump over the cliff?
Will be fascinating watching from the sidelines.

Tony Woodley has lost any credibility he may have had by doing a complete volte-face. Having said that the last BA offer was the best they could get, what does he hope to achieve by strike action. Does he think BA will just roll over, having already made a number of concessions whereas Unite/Bassa have made none?

Do these people have any concept of what the word negotiation means?

Very sad that a bunch of, on the whole, decent cabin crew can be led by such a group of incompetent and selfserving people.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 15:57
  #949 (permalink)  
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I suspect that BA will sit back and watch the proceedings. They will issue a warning as to how they will view the action - whether they view it to be protected or not and what they will do to unprotected strikers.

Remember that whatever the issue is, whether it is protected or otherwise, an Employment Tribunal does not have the power to enforce a reinstatement order and so IF BA were to sack some strikers the chances of them getting their jobs back is very low. I expect BA will use all the legal tools available to them to find a reason to delay and disrupt any potential strike action.

It will be interesting to see what the turn out will be in this ballot, I am guessing that it will be a higher percentage than last time and it will be a high percentage voting for the strike. However, the total numbers balloted will be significantly down as many moderate members of BASSA have already left and so the remainder are both more engaged and more extreme. They (UNITE) represent a significantly smaller proportion of the CC community than they did this time last year.

One last thing that you can guarantee is that the numbers that vote for a strike will not represent those that will actually go on strike. BA has promised a 100% LH service - expect it to run and expect an acceleration in MF courses.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 16:02
  #950 (permalink)  
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"Will they find a reason for IA unconnected to the previous IA?"

Does anyone know the legal details here defining "unconnected" ? Does it relate to items on the ballot paper can't be recycled for a second ballot ?

Or is it a wider definition that is open to interpretation?
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 16:32
  #951 (permalink)  
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I think the wording maybe different -did BA offer that the arbitrators decision was final and binding?

Good of TW to advise that his items "wont cost BA a single penny" given that one calls for repayment of salary for "genuine" sick cases and the other calls for possible reinstatement of "wrongly" dismissed staff (and hence additional salaries to pay). Surprised to see he was so frank about these
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 16:33
  #952 (permalink)  
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Very poor show by Tony Woodley. He did a deal with the company in which he obtained concessions on staff travel and disciplinaries and agreed to take it the membership. He has reneged on that and put those concessions at risk. Very poor form.

The ballot result will be interesting. I don't doubt that there will be a mandate for strike action but the numbers balloted will be interesting.

I suspect BA will keep its powder dry until the ballot result is known. Though I don't doubt that the lawyers will be clocking up yet more fees.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 17:10
  #953 (permalink)  
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Assuming the strike ballot actually takes place I await another "overwhelming"; vote for strike action. Whether or not the number of strikers bears any resemblance to the Yes votes is another matter altogether.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 17:48
  #954 (permalink)  
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I read elsewhere that BA's new CEO-elect (Keith Williams) may move HR (known as 'People' in BA-speak) into the Legal department/team.

This may mean that policy will move from one of negotiation (not that BASSA have done much of that anyway) to one of what the company legally has to do to conform with the law. This will probably result in a much harsher environment for all to work in. Regardless of whatever BASSA say, BA has historically been and still is, is very supportive employer that looks after people as one would expect from an ex-nationalised company with a civil service ethos.

An unwelcome by-product of this (in part due to BASSAs intransigence) may well be detrimental effects on other areas of the business that have been historically proactive.

Maybe the good news on this is that BA will just sack the malcontents
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 18:59
  #955 (permalink)  
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I was listening to Woodley being interviewed on the PM programme this evening and it suddenly occurred to me that I must have been mistaken in what I understood about this dispute. I have read virtually every word of both threads in each of their incarnations and I thought I had a pretty good idea of what has been happening. However, Tony Woodley said it on Radio 4, so it must be true, so I got it all completely wrong.

Its all BA's fault apparently. They are simply 'arguing over the details', that will 'cost them nothing', they have 'taken away staff travel' (Oh well they will return it, but only in two years) and have sacked and suspended people 'for no reason at all.' And apparently Unite have always been there to negotiate and be the voice of reason - all BA have to do to end this dispute is to 'just give back what that have so cruelly taken away'. Well I think that is all perfectly clear - isn't it?

Tonight's PM Programme presenter did manage to challenge Woodley on one thing though. 'What has this dispute and the 22 days of strike achieved?' He dodged and weaved a bit, but he eventually admitted that; 'Apart from loss of travel privileges, a lost of money by our members and a lot of heart ache for everyone ......... errr nothing.'

So, who am I to believe Mr. Woodley? My own conclusions after reading these threads for almost two years? Or you, who have just admitted that two years of Industrial Action has achieved NOTHING?

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Old 29th Nov 2010, 19:06
  #956 (permalink)  
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Given that TW has not only reneged on both recommending and presenting the offer he agreed with BA to Unite's CC members but now has also come out with a renewed set of conditions and announced a fresh strike ballot, I am very surprised that BA has not withdrawn its current offer as it did last time.

BA both offered and even made (as a goodwill gesture) substantial concessions on ST and to its established disciplinary procedure for IA related cases in return for nothing whatsoever from Unite. It makes no sense that BA should leave this offer on the table now that further damage to both future bookings and its brand image will have been incurred by TW's announcement and particularly as Unite has clearly shown its distain towards it.

Last edited by AV Flyer; 29th Nov 2010 at 19:54.
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 19:41
  #957 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by baggersup View Post
Litebulbs? Thoughts?
Err, give me a bit of time?!
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 19:52
  #958 (permalink)  
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Given that TW has not only reneged on both recommending and presenting the offer he agreed with BA to Unite's CC members but now has also come out with a renewed set of conditions and announced a fresh strike ballot, I am very surprised that BA has not withdraw its current offer as it did last time.

BA both offered and even made (as a goodwill gesture) substantial concessions on ST and to its established disciplinary procedure for IA related cases in return for nothing whatsoever from Unite. It makes no sense that BA should leave this offer on the table now that further damage to both future bookings and its brand image will have been incurred by TW's announcement and particularly as Unite has clearly shown its distain towards it.
As far as ST is concerned, tactically, I think it would be better not to withdraw staff travel again. Someone who had lost ST, only to get it back in part and lose it again may think they have nothing to lose by striking again. The risk of losing staff travel again may make some think again about striking this time, having learned the hard way that it would not be reinstated "in five minutes!".
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 19:57
  #959 (permalink)  
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There's a meeting at ACAS next Monday according to this:


We are pleased to see that a press conference was held today to announce Unite's INTENTION to ballot it's members on Industrial Action.

Whilst we would have preferred the press conference to announce that we will be giving notification on a specific date to British Airways, we are at least moving in the right direction.

Needless to say in the interim period we will ask all of our members to ensure that their details are accurate and up to date.

It is vital that you advise us if you are off work on long term sick, maternity or taking a sabbatical – or any absence that means you will not be in the workplace during any potential strike period.


We are gravely concerned that as a result of the press conference today, British Airways have conceded to meet with Unite next Monday under the auspices of ACAS. To the best of our knowledge this will NOT include any of the representatives from either Bassa or Amicus. This is unacceptable to us and we will communicate that to the JGS on behalf of our membership.

Furthermore we are not prepared to accept any offer to settle this dispute on the basis that British Airways ONLY agree to the "four no cost items". The current agreement in any guise is unacceptable to us and we believe to the community as a whole.
Why, you might ask? Because it is built on quick sand and has no guarantees for our future. The offer does not adequately deal with the reasons why the dispute arose in the first place. To add insult to injury, it also seeks to restrict and deprive you of your statutory rights to litigation against an increasingly unreasonable employer.
We do however believe that the four items form a good basis for discussions to commence with the involvement of the reps and will clear the decks of all the diversionary nonsense that British Airways has chosen to introduce into the dispute.

We would also like to assure you that the figures recently published on some forums suggesting that only a handful of AMICUS members took industrial action are misleading and we can honestly advise you that more than five times that number of AMICUS members actually went on strike. That is not to say we couldn't do better, because we can and we must!

Today saw information come to us that Mixed Fleet will be operating the SIN-SYD, CPT and JNB from the 08th March 2010.

Whilst this has been a long drawn out struggle with many pitfalls, one positive thing that has come out of it is that British Airways have been exposed and the true nature of their intent is now glaringly obvious. Be that the misleading rationale of an airline in trouble, or the assurances that Mixed Fleet would not adversely affect us, we can now see clearly that the leadership team cannot be trusted and neither therefore can their offer be trusted. We are now in profit irrespective of the cost of this dispute, the ash cloud and the hefty fines – and yet our work is being stripped away and our agreements are being decimated on a daily basis.

If you had any doubts about your future in this once wonderful airline, be GUARANTEED of this – unless we ALL support the call for action, and, when appropriate lawfully withdraw your labour, YOU WILL HAVE NO FUTURE- the writing is on the wall!
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Old 29th Nov 2010, 20:09
  #960 (permalink)  
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It is worth listening to Tony Woodley speaking for approximately 4 minutes starting at 11 minutes 16 seconds within this BBC news._ Better still to start listening at approximately 9 minutes 30 seconds from the beginning:_____________link
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