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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V

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BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V

Old 29th Mar 2011, 18:21
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Notlangley....

We've got a domestic to longhaul and back again lined up over the potential strike dates so here's hoping the domestic end holds up...
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 18:39
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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SLFLurker

It appears that's exactly what Holley is trying to do ... damage BA by upsetting passengers, by holding ballots that threaten strikes, but not actually striking ... so that none of the potential strikers get penalised.

If that turns out to be the case, I think BASSA's legal ice might prove very thin.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 18:56
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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This does appear to be the case, Holley having stated as much on his 'feeling downhearted" blog, dated 13th February 2011:


Originally Posted by Holley
This is a different phase of the dispute that we are now in, itís no longer about rushing into strike dates; it is all about sending a message..Ö.You no longer need actual strikes to pressure the company - ballots can have the same effect, since they carry the threat of strikes. It would now appear that a simple, well-placed cross on the ballot paper removes some of the need to actually lose money and stand on picket lines.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 18:58
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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MPN,

I'm sure BA will sort us out so that we are not too disadvantaged. I flew domestic last May (just escaped the ash clouds one way!) and BA rescheduled and the rescheduled again no problem when the strike was called off.

I booked in Nov / Dec fully aware of the dispute but given my experience in May, I have no qualms that BA will sort it - but just could do without the hassle right now - we have a relatively early LH out of LHR so may have to come down the night before.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 19:23
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Can anyone definitely tell me if BA has gone after Unite and secured costs for any of the 'illegal" actions and if so, how much ?

In spite of following the whole saga i haven't caught this .

Thanks
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 22:15
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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How long to BASSA have in order to call a strike? I Know they have to give 7 days advance notice, but how long does the ballot mandate last?

Regards
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 22:23
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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I think they have to start the strike within 28 days, so in light of the notice period, they have 21 days to call a strike.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 23:25
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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They have 28 days from the date that the ballot result was announced in which to commence strike action, but need to provide BA with 7 days notice of any proposed strike dates. Assuming that the strike action is protected (i.e. it is not seen as a continuation of an existing dispute) the union has a period of 12 weeks in which it can call for strike dates. Thereafter, protect ceases to be in place and any industrial action taking place is not protected. The protection gives employees the right to claim for unfair dismissal if they are sacked solely for taking part in industrial action. It also provides some indemnity for the union.

The problem that Unite face is that the 10 items in their list of grievances include wording that inextricably links this lates ballot with the previous strikes, hence it is likely that any industrial action would be unprotected. Whilst BASSA and co may wish to call strike dates, they are powerless as only the union is able to do that. If Unite feel that in doing so they would open themselves up to substantial legal action, not just from BA but potentially from the membership for not providing the whole truth about the legality of the current situation, they may well back down.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 06:35
  #169 (permalink)  
 
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Question

Is there anyone of sufficient legal mind to answer me this?

Mr Holley has admitted himself that BASSA are now resorting to the tactic of merely threatening industrial action in order to deflate forward bookings. Is there legislation to cover, or do BA have any legal recourse to argue, vexatious action ?

To my mind, this is an abuse of the legal entitlement for an employee to take industrial action. How long before this government turn their eye to this abuse and close the loop hole ?

It is not only BA cabin crew whom Mr Holley and his cohorts are sending over the abyss; dare I suggest, he is putting into jeopardy the current freedom and rights of all employees and their current right to exercise their right to strike by opening up the procedure to public and government scrutiny.

Another thought which crossed my mind whilst listening to the Radio 5 live debate; do BASSA members not realise that by realising savings through NF., those NF boys and girls are actually protecting the T & Cs of those on old contracts. Without NF, where would the necessary savings have come from in IFCE? Phone a friend anyone? 50/50? Ask the audience?

Message to the BASSA hardcore: NF is not the bear in the room you all fear. NF will not take your jobs, NF will not affect your T & Cs., NF will not take all your cushy routes and box payments, NF is not responsible for you going one down onboard (incase you have forgotten, that is what this stupid dispute was all about initially), NF will only increase proportionate to the natural decrease in old contract numbers. Get it in your heads, BA had to adjust to survive; you need to too.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 07:57
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Colonel White - in an otherwise excellent posting on the crew-only thread - has written:

If cabin crew are targetting Easter (or more accurately Passover) does this mean we are in for further parallels being drawn with BA management taking the role of Pharoah and the BASSA executive and there cronies assuming the role of the Jewish people in Egypt?
Passover this year commences on 18 April 2011, while Easter falls on 25 March 2011.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 08:49
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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CCC
I believe you are mistaken. Easter is on April 25th. Passover runs for 7 days commencing on April 19th.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 09:04
  #172 (permalink)  
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while Easter falls on 25 March 2011.
Easter was 5 days ago???????

Wheres my easter eggs?
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 09:09
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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Several interesting comments and questions above, especially from Col White and Stoneybridge.

Much will, of course, hinge on what Unite chooses to say and/or do following the ballot result. They have 3 weeks to make up their minds. The perception of many here and on other forums is that the planned strike[s] will be unprotected, thanks to the 10-point linkage to the previous action. In parallel is Holley's implication that they will not actually do anything, which opens up the vexatious action question.

I suspect that BA's legal people have a variety of pre-prepared folders to address those [and other] issues.

Meanwhile, as noted on ba.com ...
Unite has not set any dates for the proposed strike action and we remain in talks with them.

If a strike does take place, we have strong contingency plans in place. We will:
  • Operate a normal schedule at London Gatwick and London City
  • Aim to fly 100 per cent of our longhaul flights to and from London Heathrow
  • Aim to fly the majority of our shorthaul flights to and from London Heathrow
BA cabin crew dispute 2011 - ballot result - British Airways
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 10:26
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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It is not only BA cabin crew whom Mr Holley and his cohorts are sending over the abyss; dare I suggest, he is putting into jeopardy the current freedom and rights of all employees and their current right to exercise their right to strike by opening up the procedure to public and government scrutiny.
There are already some significant provisions in place which permit employers to sue a Union for carrying out industrial action where statutory immunity is not valid (i.e. an unprotected action):

http://www.freshfields.com/publicati...ct10/29082.pdf

The last paragraphs are especially relevant, where BA could sue Unite for up to £250,000, can sue Union representatives individually for organising unprotected pickets, and where individual passengers can sue the Union for losses incurred because of a failure to deliver services as a consequence of unprotected action; I can imagine BA is all over this.

Further backing for the position that Unite is unlikely to authorise any walk-outs.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 10:49
  #175 (permalink)  
 
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Agree that Unite won't back a strike. BASSA's members are dead in the water. They can vote but they can't strike. They have no voice at the negotiating table for any purpose.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 11:31
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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Accepting, hopefully, that Unite do indeed 'walk away' from the situation ... what happens next?
  • Does DH just sit back and do/say nothing? Or just call for another ballot when this one expires? Or embark on some bizarre wild-cat action?
  • Will the hard-core BASSA membership ever recognise what's going wrong, listen to FACTS instead of DH's fictions, and do something about introducing some legitimacy and credibility to their Union's position?
  • Will BA just implement contingency plans, and watch another round of negative publicity? Or will they start taking robust action against the causes of the problem?
  • The majority of BA's employees have already made major concessions, and have shown no inclination to support BASSA's fringe activity. The Public may be slightly concerned, but regular users of BA now know that any strike has little [if any] effect.
Something has got to give, surely?
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 11:47
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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Itís a difficult conundrum.

The only way I can see it changing is for some of the broader BASSA membership (not the BASSA reps/management) to take an interest in the running of their Union Branch. I wouldnít be surprised if Unite themselves would be keen to see this happen, either.

The first stage of this is to gain access to the accounts of their own £1.5m+ annual subscriptions, as they are legally entitled to do. Then to look in more detail how the money is disbursed; itís all perfectly legal Iím sure, but there is always room for improvement and increasing value for money for members.

Having that financial understanding is the first stage to being able to launch a credible, democratic challenge to current ways of doing things, not to ďbust BASSAĒ but to make it stronger and attempt (if thatís possible) to mend its tarnished brand.

BASSA is now a zombie union, with unelected leadership, disconnected from the employees they claim to represent as they no longer work there, no longer involved in any negotiations with BA by dint of BASSA terminating the Facilities Agreement itself, and an active interest in destroying the livelihoods of those they claim to represent in order to exact supposed revenge, as well as an active disinterest in settling, alongside a rather nice stipend as long as this dispute is ongoing.

Thankfully BA realises this, and is carrying on regardless; frankly I rather hope for a proper strike which should flush out the real level of BASSAís support.

Meanwhile, forward bookings remain strong and my colleagues and I continue to fly BA without any fear of significant disruption.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 12:15
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11 - DH has no authority to call a ballot. This rests with Unite. The slightest hint of any unofficial action will be shot down immediately by Unite.

However, I genuinely don't see a settlement without a change in leadership at BASSA. This may just rumble on and taking the temperature of the response of passengers to Monday's announcement, BA's regular customers are to a very large extent not troubled by the threat of strikes. The ballot announcement also got relatively little media coverage.

Arguably, the neutering of the threat of strikes is something of a watershed. The threat of a strike has in the past been as significant (if not more) than the strikes themselves.

Last edited by LD12986; 30th Mar 2011 at 12:29.
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 12:53
  #179 (permalink)  
 
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The do nothing option.

This is a viable option - something doesn't have to give.

1. Those who haven't signed up to the new contact will find themselves being paid 6-7%% less than those that have in the near future. That's about 20 million in salary costs saved annually.
2. As long as BASSA is disabled (having shot itself in both feet), BA can run its own business. This is extremely valuable, must be a huge relief, and has already allowed BA to plough its own furrow with regard to MF at huge annual savings of 150 million plus. Would BA give this freedom up without a fight? NO!
3. Think of the day-to-day savings associated with not having to deal with a bunch of jobs-worth gobshites, diverting this and invoking that left, right and effing centre - my guess is 25 million annually but it could be double that.
4. Expect a further 'step-drop' in BASSA numbers after this latest ineffectual wet sock of a ballot, and more drifting away as time goes on. All good news for BA.


BA can just wait until BASSA in its current guise is a thing of the past. This year, probably. Next year, certainly. A few Cabin Crew look a bit miserable sometimes. So what?

I agree with you LDnumbers. Neutering of the strike threat is a watershed.

Last edited by mrpony; 30th Mar 2011 at 13:00. Reason: spelling
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Old 30th Mar 2011, 13:02
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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Mon Colonel,

You are quite correct about the date for Easter 2011. My apologies to you (and to Hotel Mode) for the careless error.

However, Passover (like all Jewish festivals) commences on the evening before, i.e. 18 April this year. The Hebrew date for the beginning of Passover is 14 days after the new moon that heralds the month of Nissan.

Passover is observed for seven days in Israel, but for eight days in the Diaspora (like several other Jewish religious holidays). The reason for this anomaly is that, in Biblical times, Jews living outside "the Holy Land" could not be sure of the exact Hebrew date, so the extra day's observance is an insurance policy, if you will.

Best wishes and Hag Sameach (happy festival) from a veteran and confirmed matzah addict!

NB: None of the above implies that I will eschew the consumption of Easter eggs!
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