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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

Old 11th Feb 2011, 10:23
  #361 (permalink)  
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Also he says "Well we said it will be a war of attrition and that is what it has become."

He doesn't seem too distraught with the current situation. Remember, the extension to his term of office (authorised by a 'democratic' show of hands) and therefore his branch remuneration only lasts as long as the dispute does. He would then have to seek re-election, which he cannot do as he is no longer a BA employee.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 11:37
  #362 (permalink)  
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I don't accept that this thread is driving content away - in fact it is generating traffic to the forum. This forum remains unique on the internet as being a place where passengers can ask questions about the industry of those who actually work in it, as well as the day to day advice that is passed between contributors on a variety of subjects.
I agree. This forum is unique in its ability to allow SLF to not only exchange ideas between themselves, but also to observe and discuss issues with the individuals actually carrying out the mission.

Though I'm still a nervous flyer, at least until after my first glass of wine, I believe this site has made me a better passenger. I'm certainly much more empathetic towards the issues that ground crew, flight crew and cabin crew have to deal with when it comes to making my flight not only safe but enjoyable.

Thank you for your patience and advocacy for this portion of PPRuNe.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 11:45
  #363 (permalink)  
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Regarding the ballot and DH's comments I think you can look at it in one if two ways:

a) Last time BA sought an injunction, the Court of Appeal made it clear that the requirements of the legislation were not intended to act as trip wires and scupper industrial action. If the problems surrounding non-members etc were de-mininis as implied by DG, why didn't they call a ballot and wait for BA to seek an injunction where it could have got short shrift from the courts.

b) If the issue surrounding the ballot were really significant why did it take an intervention from BA to stop the strike. Why hadn't Unite been diligent enough to spot and address them itself. The fact is that Unite was very close to, in extremis, getting its members sacked for unprotected IA.

Will be interesting to see how long Unite waits until reballotibg and the numbers being balloted (fourth tine round!).
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 11:48
  #364 (permalink)  
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Tightslot. Thank you for moderating this thread. All with a relatively lightish touch, except when we are just too silly, when extensive deleting of posts is to be encouraged.

Changing positions. You suggest that few have changed their positions. I believe that my views have changed, primarily through reading this and the CC threads.
I have maintained one consistent view - that Companies get the TUs that they deserve. Thus, I remain critical of BA "managers" at a variety of levels. BA generated bassa. It is reaping what it sowed in the past.

How on Earth BA let their "first line managers" - the CSDs become strike leaders is beyond me. That is probably the most stupid bit of non-management that I have ever heard.

My view on bassa has gone from being concerned that they were being lead astray by the power politics of Unite and the Labour Government to one of more or less complete contempt. I have worked very closely in the past with that power politics, and CC needed to know that the last people that the career unionists at HQ care about are their members, unless the member is buying a double at the bar.
My view on travelling with BA has changed from "never again" to one of a far more positive stance. I no longer fly much - my BA and SQ gold cards have long expired, but my last l/h flight was with BA, and my next one will also be with BA. That is due to GG, Betty, otter, et al, who let us know that most of their staff are decent and reasonable people.
I once thought this rather small dispute could be solved by negotiation. I have solved much bigger disputes in the past by negotiation.........with communists, with the EETPU, (er, not communists) and with all shades of politics.
I am now convinced that negotiation will not end this dispute. Woodley was the last chance. He's a good man, but he failed to move the bassa "leadership".
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 12:05
  #365 (permalink)  
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AO, Regarding CSDs, I think this illustrates the problem you describe which has been festering for decades. They do not seem themselves as being "management" in the traditional sense.

It is telling that on Mixed Fleet the position of CSM is an actual BA manager grade and some office based duties are included in their job description and there is also a career path from CSM to a Head Office based role.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 12:26
  #366 (permalink)  
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Ancient Observer:

I also believe that my opinions and thoughts have changed on many issues since the inception of this dispute.

Much more weight is given to your initial postings regarding BA's previous mismanagement that aided and abetted the worst in BASSA.

I certainly do not put all unions in the same basket anymore. Their competency (or lack thereof) is as diverse as any other business.

Unfortunately, I also share your views regarding the likelihood of success through negotiation. How do you negotiate with an entity that refuses to negotiate..and BASSA/CC89 will not negotiate. Their leaders statements have shown that time after time.

I keep trying to figure out a way to satisfy BASSA's needs while still allowing a settlement that is healthy for the future...but BASSA simply needs too much and whatever the offer (and they have had a very good offer on the table that they forced BA to withdraw) they always say "No".

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Old 11th Feb 2011, 13:17
  #367 (permalink)  

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Good to hear that it has in fact been responsible for some change - Reassuring and thanks for letting me know. Onward and upwards!
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 13:39
  #368 (permalink)  
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Ancient Observer.....I am a Purser with BA....very rarely post but just felt I wanted to say thank you for returning to BA. There are many of us like Betty Girl,Otter girl etc. I have always supported BASSA in my career but like many colleagues lost faith in them last year. The whole situation is ridiculous,working life is at best tolerable and at worst quite frightening and very intimidating for those of us that came to work.
Please keep flying with us as the majority of crew have/are seeing the light,we just need a way of identifying each other without repercussions and I don't mean with a coloured pen! Any ideas from a SLF point of view??
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 13:40
  #369 (permalink)  
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AO....I agree with your post to a large extent. Having been a rep for 35 years I can say that both companies and members get the reps they deserve. It is true that the TU top table are little interested in members or disputes. This is one of the main reasons that I never involved anyone beyond the relevant FTO. Fortunately they were usually too busy to bother with the politics and stuck to the issues at hand. Any dealings with national officers were kept to facilitate meetings with government departments.
I would have considered it a major failure to have some national officer take over. To be a good rep, I believe, you have to have lost your fair share of battles to have any perspective in your negotiations at any level. BASSA were handed victory on a plate for decades and seem to have lost the ability to keep up with everyone else.
this should have resulted in a negotiated settlement long ago. I don't think BA have put enough effort into convincing those who vote Yes to IA. Whatever the outcome I think it will affect BA and it's employees for a long time to come..
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 15:01
  #370 (permalink)  
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Regarding changing positions on this dispute, I never thought 18 months ago it would still be running today. Clearly, BA will have very accurate information on booking trends, brand perception amongst different external groups etc, but to those with an interest one way or another in the dispute BA seems in no hurry to see a clear resolution and it still appears to be overshadowing the business. Witness the lack of any major brand building marketing for two years.

I guess there are many unknowns.

Would this dispute still be running if BA hadn't withdrawn staff travel from strikers? Would the absence of this sanction have resulted in more staff going on strike? Would BASSA have found another reason to keep the dispute going?

Ditto for disciplinaries. Should they have been parked until after the dispute (appreciate this may have been difficult given some of the cases)?

Would events have taken a different turn if there hadn't been incidents affecting management credibility (T5 opening, price fixing fines) and frustrated crew (poor implementation of IFE system, product cuts/failures etc)? Or are they irrelevant? If WW wasn't CEO would it have been any different?

This dispute just seems to be at an impasse and I see no prospect of an agreed settlement.

BASSA support is dwindling, but at a very slow pace. I guess this will just slowly fizzle out.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 16:15
  #371 (permalink)  
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How on Earth BA let their "first line managers" - the CSDs become strike leaders is beyond me
I am a CSD. I am not a strike leader. I worked during the IA as I, like many others, lost faith in the Union who I believe chose the wrong battle and were interested in the minority no the majority.

I am reassured to hear that you will, like many others, continue to fly with BA. Thankyou. Rest assured I do class myself as a BA manager. I manage with passion and integrity and am not afraid to manage lack lustre, apathetic performance.

I hope that this sorry mess is sorted out soon so we can all move on and enjoy our nations airline, whether as a customer or an employee.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 16:24
  #372 (permalink)  
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Thanks for including my name in your post.

I am also pleased to hear that you will continue to use our airline.

I just wanted to reassure many of our passengers that the vast majority of cabin crew on BA are completely dedicated to customer care, whether they be non strikers or misguided strikers and it is a very small number that let us down.

Thank you for staying so loyal and I hope that some of you fly on one of my flights one day.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 18:24
  #373 (permalink)  
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I must admit that when the dispute started I was in the process of booking flights that were to take place during the first strike. I therefore booked on Swiss (op BMI) to get to LHR and was gutted when I got to the gate and saw the BA flight I had wanted to book boarding at the next gate along.

All my GVA-LHR flights since then have been on BA and have had wonderful crew on them and spent quite along time talking to pursers about the strike. Who knows, I might have met Betty Girl, Ottergirl, Hula and others and not known it. I will continue to book BA even when/if more strikes are annouced.

In my previous job the union was a branch of Unite, and the difference between how they worked with the Co and the way Bassa work (or not) with BA are so far apart it is unbelievable. The vast majority of Unite people who are on the ground level in various businesses are great people who do their very best. It is unfortunate that Bassa have managed to tar virtually a whole union with their, IMO, bad attitude.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 22:09
  #374 (permalink)  
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I booked our holiday flights with BA (for Easter) before Christmas and was perfectly happy to be doing so - especially after reading PPRuNe for several months...
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 22:52
  #375 (permalink)  
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WHY is this dispute still continuing ..........

If you read all of the posts back to say September 2009, the following are some of the positions/situations that emerge .....

BASSA/DH - On the brink of being dismissed, opted to commence taking his BA pension, 20yrs?, which of course replaced his lost salary income, also receives his renumeration from BASSA and supposedly 5% of the membership fees, (est. Sept. 2009 £1.8m).

Branch regs have supposedly been altered at Branch meetings to state that no branch decisions will be made or elections carried out for any branch positions whilst a dispute is continuing, that includes branch management and reps. Unite have accepted that only BASSA can call off or agree to finish a dispute.

DH and LM will be able to commence drawing their BASSA pension around Q4 this year. DH has nothing to gain and a lot to lose if this dispute ends before the end of this year. He also displays an unremitting hatred for BA.

He has deliberately screwed up agreement being reached on at least two recent occasions and, has increased the 'reasons' for the dispute, from the original 'imposition' of having a CSD physically work and one less CC on some flights, which was declared legal by Court judgement. All other 'reasons' now involved are wishlist/pique or ST, which would appear to be not contractual, given the forty plus years it has been operating and the conditions that were/are signed to on each occasion. (Read a copy for yourself and judge).

LH would possibly also appear to be taking a slightly different route, in apparently looking to be a candidate for a position in Unite.

CC89, whilst simply a small branch of Unite, as already shown, can also screw things up by agreeing or disagreeing with BASSA at specific points in time, are now influenced/driven by the left wing/SWP aims of Jerry Hicks. Have produced their own list of reasons for the dispute.

Len McCluck, £100,00+ pa, with the background achievement of having destroyed the Docks and Dockers, is currently on a declared task of bringing about a series of co-ordinated strikes throughout the UK, to bring down the current government, he has declared the BA dispute to be part of this strategy.

With this potpourri, where the XXXX is any opportunity to settle the dispute, other than a strike and sacking all those who go out on strike - which leads us exactly to the position that all the various union players are hoping to achieve.

As an aside, with the recent establishment of the BASSA Limited company, it appears possible that the safekeeping of account records and minutes of BASSA, could be part of the reason for the existence of this company, which would block off a possible problem area.

Now - this is meant to be a summation of the position/history of the dispute to date, it does however, undoubtably knock the union elements involved and the political influences, but this is what has happened and is happening.

If anyone wishes to start the general accusations going of this being an anti union/political rant - before you put pen to printer, lets see an analysis of why it should be so, why the unions actions are acceptable, etc., based on the past eighteen months history rather than recent weeks.
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Old 11th Feb 2011, 23:36
  #376 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Entaxei View Post
Len McCluck, £100,00+
Regardless of what I think of the man, he is the head of a union with well over a million members. I think he should be on more.
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 00:23
  #377 (permalink)  
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Len McCluck income .....

Hi LB, looks as though we're the only late birds tonight ...

Ignoring the actual character involved, I would agree in principle that the head of Unite at 1,000,000 members is worth more than £100k pa, but Cameron as PM is only paid a basic of £142k - and he's supposedly in charge of >50m of us.

We don't however know what other 'additional' income might be coming in, I would imagine that the PM's position pays a hefty pension and leaving present to recover to normal MP status, I seem to remember that MP's losing their seat, are/were entitled to £60k +. Thank God for the milk round did I hear someone say!!
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 07:36
  #378 (permalink)  
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a post by betty-girl

This is probably one of the most important postings that has been made on PPRuNe:-__link
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 11:40
  #379 (permalink)  
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Thanks for posting NotL, that is most revealing. If one also considers the observations of Entaxei, then this will not end soon. For many months, I have presumed that it will just peter out eventually. with both sides claiming equal success.

It has oft been said (and in here too) that Generals always fight the last war and that is what we see. Deeply sad for all involved, not a single person or group will have benefited from all of this.
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 14:01
  #380 (permalink)  
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Unfortunately I don't have the words for the 25 January - 22 February 2010 ballot

This 2009 quote is historic but the bold sweep of it would appear to prevent any subsequent strike until both sides agree that the 2009 dispute is ended
The ballot of BAís 14,000 cabin crew will open on Monday, November 16th, Unite the union has announced.

Unite says that BAís continued failure to consult properly on 2,000 notified redundancies and the companyís determination to impose fundamental changes to working practices, work organisation and terms and conditions of employment leave it no other option but to ballot the cabin crew workforce.
This 2009 phrase looks to me like a catch-all phrase
. . impose fundamental changes to . . . terms and conditions . .
Maybe Unite has been caught-out by their own words?
Why blame BA - they didnít dictate what words Unite should use?
(I have no knowledge of Labour Relations Law)
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