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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

Old 9th Feb 2011, 04:03
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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To all Cabin Crew Members at British Airways

Dear colleagues

British Airways Cabin Crew Dispute
Did Len really right this? He didn't use the word "macho" once.

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Old 9th Feb 2011, 04:18
  #262 (permalink)  
 
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I thought I would add this to the thread. (copied from the CC thread)

Dave3
I admire the determination of you and your colleagues to “stick it out”.
You have principles, as it seems your colleagues have. Principles can and are expensive. People in this world have lost their lives to uphold their principles (think Tiananmen Square, or the current situation in Egypt.) I of course would not advocate that the high principled cabin crew should be snuffed out and would not wish that. Replace “lost lives” with “lose your jobs”. A person must have a strong constitution to carry on with their principles to such an extent that it ends with loss of life (job).

A large number of CC have looked at the situation they are in and have decided, that despite their high principles, their families come first (call it common sense if you like). Dave3, a time will come soon when you and your colleagues have to make a decision.
Miss M
We all have careers of some sort. The job market and financial health of a company can determine how those careers go.

Clearly BA wants to have cost effective staff, unfortunately for CC, you as a group were not considered cost effective. CC costs to the company have been shown to be double or more above the market rate. So what is the market rate? It is the rate that can be sustained by the company, whether it be in wages paid (the minimum without haemorrhaging staff) or the highest price obtained on a product (without haemorrhaging customers).

To determine whether you continue your career with BA or choose another airline is up to you. People do move on to improve their careers.

Last edited by keel beam; 9th Feb 2011 at 10:54. Reason: clarity
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 08:00
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

I think (also in this case) a rep should be someone who understands and agrees (or at least is able to live - )with the principal view of the members.

The Rep should facilitate the execution of the opinion of the majority of the members

In this case however, having led rather than facilitated, the union has lost a lot of members which, had they still been members- might have wanted:

1. a different rep
2. a different goal and therefore method

As soon as rep starts deciding himself what the direction should be irrespective of the members, he becomes a dictator and who likes dictators?
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 08:36
  #264 (permalink)  
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Litebulbs

BA going bust is as much of a bum steer as...........
We don't really know the true state of BA's finances two years ago. What we do know is that those unions that signed the confidentiality clause and looked at the books (BA) were convinced enough to agree to cost saving measures in their departments.
BASSA buried their heads in the sand and wouldn't face facts. The rest of the employees in BA made a contribution.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 09:52
  #265 (permalink)  
 
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Jan ERS letter missing - notlamgley

I suspect nothing concrete by way of an explanation will be forthcoming unless someone makes a FOI request. Unite/Bassa are so bad at what they do it is indeed laughable. I echo Eddy's (cc thread) sentiments in that regard.

Bassa rumour-mill is of course blaming the 'other' union - the one they wouldn't sit in the same room as.

You really couldn't make this stuff up.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 10:31
  #266 (permalink)  
 
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It appears to have been assumed by contributors to this and the other threads that the flaw in the ballot process relates only to membership numbers.

But does it? We havent seen the BA letter to the ERS or Unite, nor have we seen the ERS "qualification" letter to Unite.

It seems to me that a major flaw in the last ballot was that the points of dispute were so clearly linked to the previous dispute (and thus, would not be protected)

If so, how are Unite going to address this? The next (if there is in fact another) ballot question will be interesting.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 10:54
  #267 (permalink)  
 
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It appears to have been assumed by contributors to this and the other threads that the flaw in the ballot process relates only to membership numbers.

But does it? We havent seen the BA letter to the ERS or Unite, nor have we seen the ERS "qualification" letter to Unite.

It seems to me that a major flaw in the last ballot was that the points of dispute were so clearly linked to the previous dispute (and thus, would not be protected)

If so, how are Unite going to address this? The next (if there is in fact another) ballot question will be interesting.
I wouldn't have thought the ERS would have a view on the legality of the ballot if it were potentially illegal because of the actual questions asked being linked to a previous strike vote. They (ERS) would presumably only be involved if the actual people being balloted was incorrect.

However, if the questions change next time around, either I'm wrong, or UNITE were advised re 'continuation' separately by BA. I seem to remember BA making some comment re continuation fairly recently, but I think that was before this ballot was issued, if so UNITE ignored that then, maybe they will again.

If the reasons for a strike are the same next time, and BA do consider it a continuation, maybe they are keeping that objection for future use.

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Old 9th Feb 2011, 11:58
  #268 (permalink)  
 
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Indeed, we haven't seen any documented indication that BA have approached the ERS.

I don't think that Mr Mcluskey has said that BA have approached the ERS, although he wants us to believe BA have.

Perhaps a word between the QC's, or even just a word from the Unite QC, has indicated that, legally, Unite are on thin ground protecting their finances and members (yes in that order) and Unite are trying to escape from the position they find themselves in.

I imagine Mr Holley, and others, are privately seething as Unite have once again pulled the wool from under their feet.

Interestingly, I see that BASSA has taken moves to protect their own finances.

Is this Unite telling them that they do not want to put their money on the BASSA horse?
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 12:21
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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In DH's "there's nothing to worry about" Queen's Council post, he did say BA had approached the ERS and in newspaper reports it was said that the ERS qualified the result to protect their own position.

If Unite do proceed with another ballot, I expect that we won't hear a single word from either BASSA or CC89. It was suggested in The Guardian that a post over staffing level changes (this may have been by CC89) prompted the challenge on continuation.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 13:14
  #270 (permalink)  
 
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This part of Unite's missive interests me:

Their challenge to our ballot via the Electoral Reform Society carries with it a veiled threat that any action taken by our members would be unprotected, and although we do not accept their assertions we are conscious that we are dealing with an erratic management who are capable of doing anything.

Having consulted with your representatives we are not prepared to put any of you at risk and have therefore decided not to proceed with action based upon this ballot result. As your General Secretary I share your obvious frustrations.
There is no claim that BA made an absolute statement regarding the invalidity of the ballot, only the use of the "veiled threat".

Even if such a "veiled threat" has been made its a common tactic used by companies when threatened with a strike.

If Unite was certain they had properly balloted their members they would proceed. My guess is that they have been told by counsel that they have some very real problems with their procedures and that as a result there is a large chance that their members would be unprotected and Unite would be exposed to a legitimate claim for damages.

What Dave3 on the other forum fails to recognize is that BA hasn't "gone to court", Unite has withdrawn as a result of its own decision.

What is predictable is that the failure in the balloting procedure, which had nothing whatsoever to do with BA, is somehow claimed to be BA's responsibility.





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Old 9th Feb 2011, 15:48
  #271 (permalink)  
 
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I would venture the opinion....If any ballot was challenged because a few papers had gone out to members who had resigned from the TU by stopping their payments, then all ballots would potentially be illegal. I don't think anyone is claiming that the numbers are significant.
In this case I think the ballot will be re-run with a different question...
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:03
  #272 (permalink)  
 
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I'm impressed that BA's statement reproduced on t'other thread responds to Unite's ballotation without mentioning pissup or brewery once.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:13
  #273 (permalink)  
 
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@ call100 ... your comment re the number of 'inappropriate ballot papers' is very pertinent.

Nobody has, indeed, mentioned how inaccurate the ballot may or may not have been. However, if ex-BASSA members [and indeed ex-BA employees] keep contacting BA with information that they have received [multiple?] ballot papers in any number, the entire 'house of cards' comes crashing down.

There is simply NO justification for BASSA, at the heart of an IA campaign against BA, not having a credible database of members. The occasional error is understandable, and "would not significantly affect the outcome". My reading between the lines is that the administration of the ballot papers is an utter shambles and has a very tenuous link with the reality of the BASSA membership.

And, as more BASSA members take note of DH's latest invective, it might be some time before BASSA actually catches up with the membership list [and more importantly who is left to ballot]. I can understand the difficulty they face, and even vaguely sympathise with the sub-contracted Membership Secretary or whatever he is called, in trying to keep the database up to date. The fact remains that they NEED to do things properly, or they will just keep being laughed out of Court [literally].
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:14
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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call100

I would venture the opinion....If any ballot was challenged because a few papers had gone out to members who had resigned from the TU by stopping their payments, then all ballots would potentially be illegal. I don't think anyone is claiming that the numbers are significant.
In this case I think the ballot will be re-run with a different question...
Bill Francis made a very clear statement to a good friend of mine who stated they had received a ballot form despite leaving Unite months ago. He said that they are allowed to make a few mistakes as long as they aren't 'proactive'. So yes the next ballot must be run with another question.

MPN 11 - you beat me to it, and also agree with the rest

Last edited by JUAN TRIPP; 9th Feb 2011 at 16:30.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:20
  #275 (permalink)  
 
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If it was merely a question of continuation, and nothing to do with the ballot itself, then I think it unlikely that the Electoral Reform Society would have been as involved as they clearly have been in terms of the question of the ballot's validity. Continuation is nothing to do with them - it doesn't form part of their role.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:22
  #276 (permalink)  
 
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Juan Tripp

Cheers

So ... what is the "other question"?

After 2 years the Union keeps coming back to the same sad and sorry semi-arguments.
BA's right to run BA v. BASSA's right to tell BA what it may and may not do.
Unless someone can think of a new reason, that the blathering hordes haven't used yet, it will end up being a 'continuation dispute' ... with all that entails.

Apart from BA achieving some degree of the profitability which it needs, given the massive order book for new aircraft], where does the future lie?
  • Legacy Crew quietly fading into the sunset?
  • Ongoing militancy?

I fear this will run for another few years, bubbling in the background and tainting not only the airline but also the great majority of Cabin Crew. i find it all very sad, and so completely un-necessary.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:27
  #277 (permalink)  
 
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The details of the ballot seem to me to be a side-show to the real issue.

Thousands of staff have voted for a strike, and between half and two thirds of them will strike.

When will the responsible local BA management get out and about to talk to, to influence and to persuade staff to change their minds?.

Sitting in an office is a cop out. Waiting to be approached is a cop-out. Get on the planes, get on the phones, go and have conversations!!!
If each manager has 200 to 300 staff to oversee, 80 could easily be spoken to each and every week, 30 minutes each..

As for the CSDs that support the strike, they are supposed to be first line managers, not strike leaders. They must be performance managed out of the organisation.
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:37
  #278 (permalink)  
 
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Yes please - can we see the official report?

the ERS decided, on the basis of protecting its own legal position, to issue a qualification in its official report on the industrial action ballot
_ __link
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:38
  #279 (permalink)  
 
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Ancient observer

The details of the ballot seem to me to be a side-show to the real issue.

Thousands of staff have voted for a strike, and between half and two thirds of them will strike.

When will the responsible local BA management get out and about to talk to, to influence and to persuade staff to change their minds?.

Sitting in an office is a cop out. Waiting to be approached is a cop-out. Get on the planes, get on the phones, go and have conversations!!!
If each manager has 200 to 300 staff to oversee, 80 could easily be spoken to each and every week, 30 minutes each..

As for the CSDs that support the strike, they are supposed to be first line managers, not strike leaders. They must be performance managed out of the organisation.
Hate to tell you this, but thats exactly what the managers have been doing for a long time now. The 'Bassa' crew for whatever reason hate everything about BA except their pay and T/C's. Don't ask me why. Its been the same for 30 + years. As for the CSD's, on EF, 50 pursers were literally given CSD without an interview or anything 13 years ago. This was because BA were short of CSD's and nobody would apply, so Bassa did a 'deal' with the head of Cabin Services. ( This was just after the 97 strike, and the manager had been brought in to calm things down.) So 50 pursers were promoted on seniority. MOST of them are the worst CSD's we have. Manage them out. Yes please
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Old 9th Feb 2011, 16:44
  #280 (permalink)  
 
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Good information ... I think most people understand it's a 'legacy debate' without actually realising how it was created in the first place.

I could draw parallels with my former life, where similar things occurred. Staff just time-serving to pension, with absolutely no interest in pulling their weight.
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