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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V

Old 16th Apr 2011, 22:46
  #581 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Entaxei

Wasn't that staff, rather than reps sacked and suspended?

It is late now, so self imposed curfew before the mods step in. Good debate today however.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 05:04
  #582 (permalink)  
 
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Quoth Litebulbs: "These new employees are fully in the hands of the management team and they are on minimum wage (approx). So if Bassa are not involved, then its minimum wage (approx). Why can't people accept that. That is the value that the employer puts on its new staff. "

Litebulbs,

I think the phrase is "That is the value that the airline industry puts on its new staff".

Wasn't the much bandied phrase "Market Rate + 10%"?
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 06:45
  #583 (permalink)  
 
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What I don't understand is why the 7500+ crew who did not vote strike do not join the PCCC.

They do not have to give up there membership to BASSA or any other union branch and it will not cost them anything at this stage.

By joining the PCCC and thus giving the PCCC enough members to be recognised by BA they would at least get themselves an fresh and untainted alternative to BASSA.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 07:32
  #584 (permalink)  
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I think there is a major point being missed here.

If BASSA is anything other than humiliated in the final deal, BA are effectively giving themselves years of industrial strife. That being the main point of dispute (ie BA pay your wages, deal with it) I cant see BA moving that far. They do not want the GMB BALPA and other bits of Unite coming back saying BASSA got what they wanted by striking.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 07:45
  #585 (permalink)  
 
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Hotel Mode
Do you think BA is unaware of the fact that it could deal BASSA an utterly humiliating defeat? I don't.

It is far more likely that it is carefully calibrating the nature of the defeat such that nearly 6000 of its employees aren't carrying around great big sulky monkeys on their backs for the next x years.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 07:55
  #586 (permalink)  
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It is far more likely that it is carefully calibrating the nature of the defeat such that nearly 6000 of its employees aren't carrying around great big sulky monkeys on their backs for the next x years.
More than a decade in BA and my experience is that 6000 employees have been sulky monkeys for that whole time. Only difference is that now they have an excuse. Sometimes you have to stop protecting people from themselves.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 08:02
  #587 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ChicoG View Post
That is the value that the employer puts on its new staff. "

Litebulbs,

I think the phrase is "That is the value that the airline industry puts on its new staff".

Wasn't the much bandied phrase "Market Rate + 10%"?
It was much bandied, but as far as I can see, the main crew are at or nearly at the bottom of the pile and this is my point. The employer has been given free hand in setting the terms and conditions of its new staff and that is how it has acted.

You also have a very hard roster with new varieties of combining long and short haul flights and promotion into one position, rather than one or two grades above junior.

Now I understand that the sole reason for this whole process was to make a substantial saving, but it appears on the face of it that they have wrung every last £ of saving that is possible and within the law.

Still, I do like the hat.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 08:12
  #588 (permalink)  
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It was much bandied, but as far as I can see, the main crew are at or nearly at the bottom of the pile and this is my point. The employer has been given free hand in setting the terms and conditions of its new staff and that is how it has acted.

You also have a very hard roster with new varieties of combining long and short haul flights and promotion into one position, rather than one or two grades above junior.

Now I understand that the sole reason for this whole process was to make a substantial saving, but it appears on the face of it that they have wrung every last £ of saving that is possible and within the law.
Absolutely right. BA have taken the opportunity they were given. Why Unite as the largest uk union didnt see it is beyond my comprehension. This is an example of idiotic union behaviour and opportunism by a company that cant believe their luck. Thanks Unite, none of this would have happened if you had controlled your branch.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 08:29
  #589 (permalink)  
 
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More than a decade in BA and my experience is that 6000 employees have been sulky monkeys for that whole time. Only difference is that now they have an excuse. Sometimes you have to stop protecting people from themselves.
A demoralised sulk is worse than a sulk.

BA still have the option of acting out a 'no negotiation' stance. It's on the table where Len can clearly see it. Personally I think they'd be better off in the long run if they played hard ball now and called the bluff of the grumps. Maybe that's what'll happen. Still a long way to go.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 08:58
  #590 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hotel Mode View Post
Absolutely right. BA have taken the opportunity they were given. Why Unite as the largest uk union didnt see it is beyond my comprehension. This is an example of idiotic union behaviour and opportunism by a company that cant believe their luck. Thanks Unite, none of this would have happened if you had controlled your branch.
BA were not given a chance, they followed through with their plan. There was no luck involved in this at all.

What only the negotiators on both sides will know and we will wait to find out is how an integrated fleet would have worked. Would it have been on the same rostering rules that the existing crew were on, but savings in salary, or the existing crew keep their new salary but new rostering rules?

It would then be down to whether you stay as you are and wither on the vine, or race to the bottom with regard to rostering.

It has been brutal, harsh and ugly, but lawful.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 09:21
  #591 (permalink)  
 
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A couple of points:

Firstly, as a PoO, my understanding is that LizMalone has been on the Unite Exec committee for some time, not just recently - hence record of her expenses for Exec duties been shown in Unite's accounts.

Secondly, BA is required by law to recognise a "Union" not a "branch" where the appropriate numbers are achieved. Is there sufficient evidence around to possibly demonstrate that the "branch" is not a proper legally constituted organisation for recognition, because it is in breach of its own constitution and Unite's rules ? Could this be LenM's get out of jail card - Unite want to maintain recognition, but unfortunately the capitalist laws mean that the evil employer will use the law to force de-recognition, because the branch is in breach, therefore regrettably Unite has to take appropriate action to ensure that the branch becomes fully compliant, even though it doesn't want to, and bla, bla, bla ?
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 09:45
  #592 (permalink)  
 
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@ Hipennine

I share your thought about whether Unite will "do something" about BASSA.

Whilst I know we are all working from limited 'facts', which is why this is a Rumour Forum, it does seem in Unite's, and the wider membership's, interest to try to achieve some form of control over BASSA. I would like to think that some of the questions discussed here are raised during discussions with BA.

However, various 'constitutional aspects' might make that very difficult to achieve. I guess it depends on what's written in some obscure part of Unite's Rule Book.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 12:46
  #593 (permalink)  
 
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What is the alternative?

Somewherene this is an alternative Universe._ Just like ours except that the Big Bang was on a Wednesday._ And outherene the Japanese tell U.S.A. that they have declared war and will attack within a defined number of weeks._ A few days before the Japanese launches its fleet the U.S.A. says would you like an extra four weeks before you attack us._ "Yes please" say the Japanese and announce that the extra four weeks was a Japanese idea._ At the end of the four weeks' extension nothing happens.

A great military victory

Last edited by notlangley; 17th Apr 2011 at 19:42.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 13:17
  #594 (permalink)  
 
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War of Attrition

Given that BA cannot do anything to actively change BASSA's current leadership (neither can Unite, nor CC89/Amicus, nor BASSA's members, nor anyone else on this planet) then it is becoming clearer to me why BA is playing the waiting and defensive game for now.

BA has the travelling public, the VCCs, the Board, the Shareholders and IA Law all on its side and has neutralised BASSA's only weapon the strike. All BA can do is to appear to be negotiating reasonably (with Unite) for now while BASSA's membership and support ever so slowly bleed away.

BA has no need to give pay rises, no need to return ST in full, no need to enter into any new facilities agreements, every reason to continue suspending appropriately misbehaving employees (from both camps), every reason to keep expanding MF, etc., all designed to grind down BASSA's membership which is now its one and only power base.

What BA most certainly will NOT do is to agree to improve its current offer otherwise it will be negotiating against itself. BA knows the only acceptable offer to BASSA is to appoint DH as BA's new CEO so there is no reason to keep offering further concessions whatsoever. Indeed, seeing as Unite reneged last time, BA has every justification to take back the WW & TW agreed ST and other consessions and return the situation to that prior to the start of the negotiations of last October.

Having said all that I still feel that letting Unite/BASSA meet their strike deadline and make the call could only help BA to weaken BASSA's support further and sooner. If they don't strike (yet again) they look like blustering fools, if they do then BA, while knowing less members will take IA with BA's defences stonger than ever before, will be able to take the numbers (and names) of CC walking-out giving it a very clear calibration of the true size of the 'hard-core' problem. This will permit BA to shape its strategy moving forwards from here.

PS. Any weakening of BASSA will also help Unite, PCCC and maybe some further bickering with CC89/Amicus to speed the process further. After all, if Unite can sort things there are a potential 13,500 monthly subs to be collected out there and, contrary to some opinions, a willing employer in BA crying-out for a union with whom to negotiate future collective agreements in a mature manner - maybe BA might increase MF's pay to cover a reasonable union subscription even!

Last edited by AV Flyer; 17th Apr 2011 at 16:42.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 14:46
  #595 (permalink)  
 
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I really feel in these times of austerity, we should substitute negotiate to mitigate. It would probably focus people to where they really are in the employer/employee relationship.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 16:51
  #596 (permalink)  
 
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Litebulbs - I don't think the general management/union negotiation picture is as bad as it seems.

Remember the BA/BASSA debacle is a very extreme example where through poor managment/union communications over many years the two sides developed such a rift and a disproportionate balance of power in favour of the union that a major correction had to be taken by management to restore that balance otherwise the company was sunk.

Look instead to any other more balanced example today where, as we all know, the real power of the strike weapon is in the threat and not in the action. In any reasonable management/union negotiation the balance is better set at the start and management 'hears' the union's message and more often than not a settlement is reached where both sides move forwards still respecting each other before any action is taken.

The BA/BASSA situation is nothing short of bad blood going back decades for which there will be no short-term fix as we can see from some of the old timers' comments on the CC thread - viz. shaking-up/icing FC's beers and general hatred of pilots, disrespect of management's operational change requests, believing to be the most important part of the company, pictures of CEO with red-eyes, "CEO is pants" and "greedy piggy" chants, loutish parties at strike headquarters showing-up in BMWs and thumbing noses at everyone, mob chanting of abusive slogans at crew rest hotels, trashing aircraft crew rest areas, redirecting passengers to porn websites, etc., etc.

If anything, the above highlights perfectly why people generally feel some kind of punishment is in order and why the granting of a bonus and partial restoration of staff travel and disciplinary reviews all really grate. It's also why, when KW granted Unite a 28-day extension, the BASSA mob have interpreted it as a complete and utter capitulation by BA with a 25% pay rise coming their way - they have experienced no other way or lifestyle.

No, this situation has to be brought under control and does not reflect the general management/union negotiation situation in any way shape or form which is alive and working well anywhere else.

Last edited by AV Flyer; 17th Apr 2011 at 21:35.
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Old 18th Apr 2011, 03:40
  #597 (permalink)  
 
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AV Flyer -
That was an excellent summation of the current situation.

Litebulbs -
We should not forget that Unite and BA have demonstrated the ability to work together for the benefit of the employee and the company. But we should not also defend the indefensible.

BASSA and CC89 chose not to negotiate, had new conditions imposed, and chose to respond by withdrawing from their Facilities Agreement and calling for IA. But instead of fighting their position - found untenable by a court - they chose to personalize the fight. That is why I cannot see this ending until the leadership of BASSA is replaced with a pragmatic, one may even say a business like group more interested in getting a good deal for cabin crew than personal gain or revenge.

Until then, one can only hope that true professionals like Betty Girl, Ottergirl, HiFlyer and Jetset Lady can hold out until their working environment improves.

TB
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Old 18th Apr 2011, 04:26
  #598 (permalink)  
 
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While those of you on the other side of the pond sleep some of us get to post. Last night I had many wonderful things to say, however cocktail hour caused me to defer. Today I read AV Fyer’s post and he\she said everything I could have said but much more eloquently. I would, however,like to make an observation that may be worthy of discussion.

If KW/BA make any significant concessions to Bassa there may be a hugh backlash from other BA employees as well as a potential backlash from BA’s most valued customers. While it can be said that customers do not care about this dispute and only care about the reliability of the service that may be changing. The reliability of the service has been established and the core business customer is probably sympathetic to BA. Many cc posters have said that they just would like it over so life can be good again. Other cc are not so sanguine. My observation is that the majority of BA’s 30,000 plus other employees will not be so happy if Bassa is able to claim, rightfully or wrong, a victory.

I indicated in an earlier post that an agreement was unlikely given that neither side was advantaged by a compromise that the other side was likely to accept. BA is doing just fine in the current situation and Bassa, at least Bassa leadership, is also content. LB pointed out that BA has an incentive to settle because of the financial damage the threat of IA is causing. While this is certainly correct the financial damage is decreasing day by day. BA must evaluate the damage caused by the current disagreement with the consequences of any settlement.

The next 28 days will be interesting. The recent “happy talk” may develop and provide some type of accommodation or it may be just “happy talk”.
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Old 18th Apr 2011, 10:02
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Let's hope peace breaks out soon. If and when it does BASSA members may care to question some of the following fundamental principles about the way things work that are dictated by the rules under which it operates:

1. Key positions in the branch hierarchy can be filled by the same people indefinitely.

2. The Branch Secretary, though paid as a full-time employee of BA, is entitled to an honorarium (payment) defined only as 50% of the 'Branch Administration Allowance'. NOTE: This should not apply currently as DH is now not employed by BA.

3. The branch accounts are audited by two people appointed internally from the CC community. This is entirely irregular and is specifically prohibited by Unite in its rules, as well as in the relevant legislation.

4. The branch committee has wide-ranging emergency powers - it decides which circumstances allow these to be invoked - that permit it to do virtually anything it wants e.g. perpetuating the tenure of the Chair and Branch Sec despite the requirement for postal ballots every two years eslewhere.

5. Changes to the rules proposed by every-day members are only possible in the most unlikely circumstances. A change motion has to be submitted with the support of 100 members, 28 days before a meeting that takes place every 2 years. At that meeting the change has to receive a 2/3 majority vote before then being tested by postal ballot which, again, has to return a 2/3 majority. Change can be introduced by the Branch Committee far more easily and in emergencies without reference to the members.

6. The key meeting that is open to all members, and at which a lot of the 'business' is done, is the one that happens every two years mentioned above, The Biennial Meeting. This is how it is apparently defined in the branch rules:

There shall be a Biennial General Meeting of all the members of the Fund by means of a specific Branch item at the first meeting of the Branch in each Biennial period.

Is that clear??!! And how many members ( out of 8-9000 or even 10000) ever attend?


I wouldn't be happy if my tennis club were run like this. Particularly if the club committee could self-declare an emergency which removed the need for democracy.

Last edited by mrpony; 18th Apr 2011 at 16:12. Reason: principles not als
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Old 18th Apr 2011, 11:25
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mrpony ... indeed. Good points, which hopefully might just be raised in discussions with Unite about a constructive way ahead [and out of this mess] for all involved.

Is that likely? I have no idea, but it might help Unite to take them on board and try to do something for their benefit. Otherwise Unite will continue to be wagged by the BASSA tail.
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