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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

Old 6th Mar 2011, 21:49
  #861 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
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I agree with your thoughts and on the face of it there is more to show that it is linked, than not.

Unite will be calling the action if the ballot returns a yes. They will be liable, so it will affect me as a member if BA can sue for loss. This is why I reasonably expect that they have done their homework too.
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Old 6th Mar 2011, 21:56
  #862 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

there may be a crumb of comfort for Unite in that there is a cap set in TULRCA on the union's liability of 250,000, however, it is unclear whether BA could then pursue action through the civil courts for revenue loss.
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Old 6th Mar 2011, 22:33
  #863 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

Thank you.

Unite will be calling the action if the ballot returns a yes. They will be liable, so it will affect me as a member if BA can sue for loss. This is why I reasonably expect that they have done their homework too.
I concur that it is reasonable to expect the homework to have been done - a member should question if this does not appear to be the case. I am confident that UNITE certainly will have taken advice although from reading the thread(s) this would not to have been a natural action for the BASSA leadership.

But as you rightly suggest we will see.

My personal view is that BA will not sack anyone, as they will be able to run a near complete service, but will offer revised contracts on 90 day notice. Nor will they come after UNITE for the money, but they will use it as leverage. For all the bluster, as we know from his pronouncements, Len is not 100% in agreement with BASSA and BA could probably do business with him if BASSA were not around.

People taking strike action which they believe is protected, is an easy choice for a Mum or Dad with family responsibilities, but turning down a 90 day "take it or leave it" ultimatum is much harder to ignore, especially when we know that even if they were subsequently found to have been unfairly dismissed, that they will not get their job back.

It remains to be seen however if alleged strikers being given such an ultimatum, take independent advise or just rely on BASSA. In my last two companies where unions were involved in mass headcount reductions, the union paid for independent advice for members and did not offer 'a barrack-room legal opinion' themselves.

And that as far as the recruitment market goes, being ex-BA of many years standing is not an advantage, its an albatross (and I say this as a recruiter).

I have never been in a union and have never needed to be in one. My father was a union convener in the CPSA for 30 years and we both wish that the BA Cabin crew had better representation as IMO you are all being sadly let down by your chosen representatives.
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Old 6th Mar 2011, 22:36
  #864 (permalink)  
 
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This is why I reasonably expect that they have done their homework too.
Litebulbs, A reasonable person would think that. However, the fact that Unite was sufficiently concerned about whatever issues BA had raised about the last ballot to call it off at the last minute in spite of the fact that it had many months to prepare for it does not instil confidence (nor does the fact that between the current and previous ballot Unite has managed to mislay some 396 cc union members.)
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Old 6th Mar 2011, 22:53
  #865 (permalink)  
 
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LD12968

That is a good point, but again, all I can do is hope that this time it is correct. If it is not, I will ask the question, because some of the cost will come out of my subs (although not too much!).

One huge thing that I would be concerned about, if BA actually deliver what they say they can and run an unaffected operation (although last time they said that, 200K less passengers flew through LHR), would be a lockout. If you want to come back to work, then sign the new contract, if not then don't.

I don't know any law on this, so some reading now!
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 00:10
  #866 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs
On the other forum you question how BA can sack striking CC.
It is very simple...the CC who do not report for work on the first day of unprotected action are told verbally and confirmed by letter along with their P45 that their services are no longer required.
As someone else has stated earlier, that would concentrate people's minds!!

You may think that's harsh, but BA would be acting within the law.

Having said that, I very much doubt that BA would go that far, much more likely to pursue Unite for costs or just simply sit it out again and run a near full service proving once again the futility of this quite ridiculous IA.

When this is finally over someone should publish the details of this sorry tale as an example of how NOT to run a union branch.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 00:12
  #867 (permalink)  
 
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Erm, isn't that exactly what we just explained is likely to happen? Though no need for a "lockout".

One option is dismissal for SOSR (Some Other Significant Reason), coupled with a 90 day opportunity to sign up to a variation of contract; it's pretty standard stuff.

Google is your friend in these matters, as is a close reading of my summary on p29:

http://www.pprune.org/passengers-slf...ons-iv-29.html
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 00:16
  #868 (permalink)  
 
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gr8tballsoffire

Are you saying that BA can work outside its set polices? I am reasonably sure that a company of the size of BA cant just tell somebody they are sacked. I ay be wrong and am willing to be corrected.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 00:20
  #869 (permalink)  
 
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VK

Erm, no it isn't what we have been talking abou unless I have missed the words lock out. If I have, then sorry.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 00:35
  #870 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Litebulbs

Re sacking someone - thats easy enough to do but - you really need them in front of you to tell them and give them their termination letter, ideally with HR alongside, the reasons -

a. Because you cannot let them carry on working or onto any aircraft,
as they could cause dissent or physical damage.

b. You need to get back the uniform and all ID's/passes they may have,
including car and specifically any airside pass.

The problem is going to be getting them in front of you, with uniform, passes etc., although I guess if the lure is the termination cheque to be signed for - which is only given on completion of handover - it might work.

Cheers
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 00:40
  #871 (permalink)  
 
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Entaxei

I agree with you. It is just that I consider comments about being sacked on day 1 in the same category as getting staff travel back in 5 minutes. Neither has or will be achievable.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 01:06
  #872 (permalink)  
 
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Throughout, BA has only done what it said it will do. The company has been careful to do this, including paying the bonus to staff who have been on strike, simply because they did not warn beforehand that striking would mean loss of bonus.

Following that pattern, if there is a further strike, no one will be sacked unless BA say beforehand that this will be the case, so imo this bit of the discussion is moot.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 02:09
  #873 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

I know that we are agreeing to agree - and I agree with you - the practicalities of physically dealing with a number of sacked staff is one that might have to be addressed in bulk, maybe BA could hire the Bedfont FC unit, for say XX weeks after/if the action commences.

Essentially, security is the major potential problem that would need to be sorted out.

Just an Observer - I also agree with you, that in practical terms BA may well choose that avenue, based upon custom & practice?. Thank you for the 'moot', tis a lovely word that I have not heard for years, although I guess that that sentiment has been mooted before!

Cheers
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 02:13
  #874 (permalink)  
 
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VintageKrug wrote:
Google is your friend in these matters, as is a close reading of my summary on p29
On PPRuNe the number of posts per page is optional - from 5 to 40 (see User CP in the yellow bar above). As a result this post appears to me on page 22. I suggest you also list the post #.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 02:24
  #875 (permalink)  
 
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jao

I am not sure BA will ever say that if you go on strike, you will be dismissed, unless a court rules that the proposed action if voted for, is unprotected. If the courts do, then it would be a brave soul to carry on regardless.

Now, I have no idea, but if the ballot delivers a yes and BA take the matter to court and win, does that mean that all items listed on the current ballot paper will be seen as a continuation of the existing dispute? If so, then that is it as far as industrial action goes.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 04:44
  #876 (permalink)  
 
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LB

Does it have to be ALL issues (items)?

Last edited by pcat160; 7th Mar 2011 at 04:46. Reason: per LB's language
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 04:53
  #877 (permalink)  
 
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pcat

I really don't know. I am sure that just one will be needed, but my point is that if yet another ballot was called, would it have to be for something different and not linked to all the items on the current ballot? Is that part of a bigger plan?
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 08:24
  #878 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs, I agree that BA would have to say something like 'we consider this strike to be unprotected, thus withdrawal of labour will constitute a breach of contract, and therefore will instigate dismissal proceedings against strikers on that basis' Ie, the law will decide at a later date. BASSA/Unite would tell CC they were protected, and the CC caught in the middle would have to decide who to believe (staff travel back in 5 minutes?)

That way, strikers will not get a P45 in the post, but would return to work and have a long drawn out wait, and BA would have plenty of time to recruit to fill the finite number of vacancies created. Presumably there would need to be a test case or an action against Unite first.

But, this is all hypothetical. I don't think BA will go that route. At some point they will have to build bridges with CC as a whole, and 'forcing' people to strike break under threat of dismissal will be too far.

However, BA may take legal action against Unite, if they think they have a case. Is there not a court case still pending re the original strike? BA don't seem to have any qualms about taking on Unite as a whole.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 08:28
  #879 (permalink)  
 
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It does make sense the BA would have to follow a set-down procedure to sack someone under circumstances where there are consequences.

However, given there are no financial or legal consequences as far as the rights of the individual in relation to unfair sacking, they could from that perspective be rather brutal about it - "Here's you letter of termination - the door is that way".

Under normal conditions, they would need to be thinking about union reaction to the breach of the working agreements, however under the circumstances, I doubt they would worry about that. Pointing out that water is wet is likely to be used as an excuse for a strike in the current climate.

As any legal comeback would not allow the individual back in no matter what, the courts would not even allow an claim for unfair dismissal and however they do it, BA would undoubtedly have to go back to court one more time as the union would seek any way to get the individual their job back - as is their role quite rightly. The actual reason would not matter but no matter how they were sacked, as a case would result anyway. BASSA cannot walk away even if logic and the law and advisors are against them.

I still don't think BA would sack anyone on day 1 - just activate the 90 day take it or leave it option.
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Old 7th Mar 2011, 09:21
  #880 (permalink)  
 
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Would issuing a 90 day SOSR notice actually settle the dispute? The 10 points that are listed on the current ballot would mostly still be there even if CC have accepted the contract currently on offer.

It might weed a few out however....I have a mental picture of a rep/activist trying to convince CC to continue IA on the 10 points whilst having to admit he/she has accepted the contract
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