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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions IV

Old 4th Feb 2011, 22:36
  #161 (permalink)  
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I suspect it depends on the branch more than anything.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 00:13
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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It's now very clear to all.

Unite/BASSA didn't consult a Queen's Counsel last weekend because they wanted a legal opinion on their mandate to call a strike following their ballot result. Queen's Counsels cost serious money (especially over a weekend!) No, they consulted a Queen's Counsel (and heard the bad news they didn't want to hear) because BA filed an ex parte law suit for an injunction to stop them announcing strike dates following an allegedly flawed ballot (probably on last Friday). The case was heard yesterday (Thursday) in the High Court. So far both BA and the union have kept the matter very quiet. BA because they have never trumpeted their moves from the roof tops, Unite/BASSA through embarrassment at their incompetence and not knowing what to do next if asked.

Last edited by AV Flyer; 5th Feb 2011 at 10:48.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 07:26
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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A strike was voted for - when will it come?

Thank you AV Flyer. _A convincing, a well rounded and most plausible explanation that leaves no loose ends._ But eventually Unite have to explain - they canít just say cricket is a sissy game, we prefer to play soccer - they are paid to play cricket.

Last edited by notlangley; 5th Feb 2011 at 08:25.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 10:00
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst agreeing with the above [and thanks from me to AV Flyer as well] I wonder whether errors made in balloting are of sufficient magnitude to "materially affect the outcome"?

Whilst personally having no truck with Unite/BASSA, I had a twinge of sympathy [which quickly passed] when McLuskey commented somewhere about BA's nit-picking. Whilst 100% accuracy on a postal ballot may realistically be unachievable, what degree of accuracy is actually acceptable/unacceptable in these cases?

If, of course, BA has been made aware of dozens/hundreds of misdirected ballots there may be a case for Unite/BASSA to answer.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 10:28
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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My thoughts on it would be to test it using the whole workplace as the measure.

Lets use 10000 as the total staff in the department. You have a ballot and 5001 support it, then I think that an error of 1 paper would be reasonable and so on.

I am probably in the minority in the union movement, where I think the proposed legislation should be changed to workforce rather than membership. I believe that this will be a benefit to the union movement. There is no point delivering a weak mandate in the 60-70% area, let alone below 50%. As I have said before, make the right to strike and action short of a strike legal and protected, but only on a very high vote result, say 85% of the total workforce in the affected area.

This will force people to join unions and vote if they feel that there is a relevant issue, rather than sit on the backs of others.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 10:41
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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No, they consulted a Queen's Counsel (and heard the bad news they didn't want to hear) because BA filed an ex parte law suit for an injunction to stop them announcing strike dates following a flawed ballot (probably on last Friday). The case was heard yesterday (Thursday) in the High Court.
Are we certain that the court hearing on Thursday was about the latest ballot? The reference number of the case was 2010 and it as a very short hearing.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 10:46
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

I will hold my hand up and say that on first reading, I was about to object to LB's post. Then I read it again - as, in my defence, I am wont to do - and realised that not only should I not protest his post, but should support it.

This will force people to join unions and vote if they feel that there is a relevant issue, rather than sit on the backs of others.
I guess there will be some who argue that this would infringe some right or other, but I can see exactly where LB would be going with this if he ruled the world. If you have an opinion, backed either by a union or you own wit, then you are obliged to express that opinion in a democratic process. Otherwise the 'answer' from any given ballot is largely bo11ocks, as I have hinted at in posts of my own.

Well said LB, my apologies for previous doubt.

Roger.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 10:57
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Democracy

Roger,

That rights infringement would be questioning democracy being 50%+1 and a mere majority. Can you be democratic with the requirement to have something more than +1?
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 11:01
  #169 (permalink)  
 
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LD12986 ... indeed, we are of course plaiting fog at the moment.

Litebulbs ... I see where you're coming from. As with political elections, it's a bit difficult to determine a true measure of opinion when you have a <30% turnout and 53% voted for the successful candidate. However, one stumbling block [of many] would be forcing union membership, and thus union dues, on individuals. The ECHR might be working on that one for decades! Or, indeed, having non-Union personnel voting on a Union matter.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 11:29
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry AVFlyer but I don't agree with your assessment. I don't see how it benefits BA to stop this strike from occurring now. At present, Unite stand to be sued and any strikers BA want off the payroll sacked if Unite go on strike under the current ballot. Why would BA want to let them off the hook?

BA have already lost revenue from advance bookings and preventing the current strike action now will allow Unite to reballot, get the same result and we'll all be in the same position in a few months time. Unite will have hit advance bookings over the summer and have a valid strike mandate.

It would make much more sense if this did relate to the 2010 dispute and BA were seeking advice \ contemplating suing for lost earnings. This would be very different from seeking the injunction to stop the strike (which ultimately they lost).
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 11:33
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11

The first stumbling block would be for me to raise it at a union meeting!

Forcing membership is here today, because of legislation. You want to collectively negotiate and vote, you need to be in a union. What I am suggesting will not change that, but will require a stronger mandate from the workforce. If 49.9% are happy with the situation, then why allow 50.1% have their way? It will be about concessions on both sides of work. A right to strike, or action short of against a bigger percentage in favour of.

Obviously it would be naive of me to think that it would be simple. Business would just be looking for it to be harder for unions to call action, without anything in return. But that isn't very coalition.

Unionism and votes are currently only pretending to be democratic anyway. If you don't like the vote, you leave. I might not like the current Government, but I still have to abide by the rules, regardless.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 11:35
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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BetterByBoat

In other words, it's in BA's interest to have an unprotected strike and mass-produce P45s? Interesting hard-ball game.

Meanwhile, suing the pants off Unite for ... what exactly? Having a legal strike which cost BA a lot of money? I'm losing the plot here, somehow.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 11:44
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs

Forcing membership is here today, because of legislation. You want to collectively negotiate and vote, you need to be in a union. What I am suggesting will not change that, but will require a stronger mandate from the workforce.
Ahhh, but I don't want to 'collectively negotiate' ... because I'm semi-detached, unmotivated, broadly content or whatever other reason. Unless it's a closed shop, which I believe is now illegal, there will be a percentage of the workforce who, for whatever reason, don't wish to engage in the process [just like with Elections].

The challenge is to make membership of the Union[s] a more positive thing, involving staff and management in constructive discussions for the benefit of both sides. Sadly, there are still some Unions who are actively anti-management, anti-employer and rampantly political ... which unsurprisingly will alienate [on current figures] some 66% of the employees who may hold different political views

A nice theory, but I don't somehow see it working at the moment.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 11:58
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11

Can't disagree with any of your points. I would say that comments about the political nature of unions, is not unique to them. You have the TUC and you have the CBI.

As I said, legislation dictates that any collective bargaining has to be on the back of a recognition agreement and there is a huge difference between negotiation and consultation. You are correct that some do not want to be part of a collective arrangement, but as one of my colleagues has expressed in many union meetings, give anything that has been gained over and above the non unionised areas within the business, to charity. There wasn't too much take up on that scheme.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 12:07
  #175 (permalink)  
 
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"In other words, it's in BA's interest to have an unprotected strike and mass-produce P45s? Interesting hard-ball game."

BA have lost a huge amount of revenue over the last 14 months. So yes, I think an unprotected strike is in BAs interest. They wouldn't have to sack everyone. Just those they wanted to. An ongoing strike over the summer that never ends and continues to hit bookings isn't in BAs interest. But ironically, the strongest suit Unite now have is over the threat to strike hitting advance bookings rather than any great ability to seriously hit actual schedules.

"Meanwhile, suing the pants off Unite for ... what exactly? Having a legal strike which cost BA a lot of money? I'm losing the plot here, somehow."

The strike was never ruled legal or illegal. An injunction to stop the strike failed (despite the union not meeting the requirements of the law) but that doesn't stop any future action, especially if new information has come to light. It would make a lot of sense to sue Unite for the £125 million that BA openly said they lost. It would also open the doors for "legimate" sackings of hard core cabin crew extremists.

An agreement now that allows BASSA to stay and fight another day is not in BAs interest.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 12:16
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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BetterByBoat

Agree that last point completely. There is no way BA can function effectively with BASSA trying to cause disruption at every turn. I find it sad that it has come to that point, but I don't see BA having any option other than to completely emasculate a sub-Union which has signally failed its own membership.

Oh, well, interesting times ahead [as usual].
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 12:30
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps I can turn the question around - how is it in BAs interest to stop an unprotected strike now which will lead to a reballot and a protected strike in a couple of months (which will hit summer bookings)?

This current ballot is almost certainly "invalid" - it is surely in BAs interest to have Unite and BASSA have an unprotected strike now rather than a protected one in a few months??

Or do you think that a reballot would bring a different result??

Note - I'm not saying I'm right. Happy to discuss and agree to disagree
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 12:32
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

BA have stated that they have NOT taken any legal action to prevent this proposed strike.

They have confirmed that they HAVE written to Unite and pointed out that some of the demands on the ballot are related to the previous strike and therefore would cause any more strikes to be unprotected.

They don't need to take legal action because if Unite's legal team agree, and it looks like they do, they would not want to risk BA suing Unite for the cost of the strike. It is not because BA want to sack crew, although that could happen if a strike went ahead under these circumstances, but it is about Unite not wanting to be sued by BA for the loses.

As usual Bassa have messed up and enabled BA to prevent this strike with very little effort. As time goes by more and more crew are seeing the light and realising they have been very badly led by Bassa and as a result their support is ebbing by the day.

DH and LM have caused permanent damage to both Bassa and Unite.

Quite frankly crew are all just fed up and want a settlement and if this offer was explained to crew properly by the union and not in the scaremonger fashion, it has been up to now, most crew would be happy to accept it and move on.
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 12:35
  #179 (permalink)  
 
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"It is not because BA want to sack crew" - disagree. I don't believe BA want to sack all striking crew. But if Unite handed them the opportunity to sack the "ring leaders" \ key extremists then I think they would take it.

As I asked above - why would BA want to stop "illegal" \ "unprotected" strike action now which only allows for protected strike action in a few months that hits summer bookings?
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Old 5th Feb 2011, 12:42
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

BBB,

Maybe they actually want a settlement!!

I don't believe BA want to sack anyone other than a few ring leaders. What they want is for this to be over and us to get back to business as usual.

I CAN see light at the end of the tunnel.

Things have changed at work and it is hard for both new Mixed Fleet crew and current WW and E/F crew but it will be possible for us to co-exist and in time all this will settle down, I truly hope.

If this strike dose not go ahead, I really don't think there will be any stomach from the majority of Bassa members, other than the die hards, for any further strike action. That's my view.
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