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-   -   BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V (https://www.pprune.org/passengers-slf-self-loading-freight/446356-ba-strike-your-thoughts-questions-v.html)

Litebulbs 25th Mar 2011 08:28

Ensuring the last strike have little consequence would have cost tens of millions of pounds, which is not of little financial consequence.

Juan Tugoh 25th Mar 2011 08:38

Litebulbs is right, BA must be spending millions to ensure that a strike has minimal impact upon the operation. This one fact alone should be giving UNITE pause for thought. The issues here are more than just settling a dispute, after all BA could easily solve this dispute by giving in to UNITE, so if BA are prepared to pay millions to defy the blackmail of IA, you have to ask why.

This is about BA being able to manage it's affairs without the constant interference from a troublesome and out of touch union. It is not about union busting but about resetting the relationship between union and company, putting it on the same footing that the other branches of UNITE are on. BA have no problems with dealing with unions nor with UNITE branches other than BASSA.

BASSA are not management and have no right to be management, something that seems to be difficult for some of them to grasp.

Litebulbs 25th Mar 2011 09:28

Pride and the Greater Good
JT, agreed 100% with your last post.

Do you think that BA should allow discussions about integrating MF with legacy now? The offer was there before and as many have said, BA made its required savings with the crew numbers adjustment.

mrpony 25th Mar 2011 11:03

I could swear....
...there was a post on here about five minutes ago on page 3 that described DH having received some sort of warning about what I'm guessing was a 'lack of judgement' on the internet, and that perhaps martyrdom was his goal since he has now decided to revisit the self-same subject.

Caught in the crossfire of:

1. Being an enfeebled power with absolutely no hope of continuing in post for much longer.
2. Having no strategy for achieving anything for BASSA's members and having achieved nothing but grief thus far.
3. Knowing that sooner or later the way the branch has been run will be put into the spotlight.

...martyrdom in the form of a prosecution by 'right wing henchman' or 'Willie's Bobby boot boys' in the course of fighting for the faithful might indeed be preferable to an embarrassing climb down and public humiliation.


Ancient Observer 25th Mar 2011 11:05

How does this end?
Like others, I do wonder how this dispute will end.
In the past I've been in many heavy duty Employee Relations disputes, (in the old days, we called them Industrial Relations disputes), but none quite like this.
From my perspective, the differences are perhaps small, but they do add up.
1. In any dispute the "sides" go through a period of hating each other. That is very true in this dispute. However, in most other disputes the key participants accept that in the end they have a vested interest in the Company surviving and prospering. In bassa's case, no-one appears to accept this. Rather, many would prefer to see BA go to the wall rather than compromise on anything.
2. The "best we can achieve by negotiation" settlement is normally either the end of a dispute, or the beginning of the end. In bassa's case it appears that "the best we can achieve by negotiation" was simply an excuse to put to-gether a longer list of demands. The Untie FTOs were made to look stupid by the bassa junta.
3. Most disputes where strike action is taken do not set back the members quite as much as bassa's actions have done. All that bassa members have done is to lose stuff, mainly due to bassa incompetence.
4. In most disputes, Managers take responsibility for getting out there and talking to staff. In widely dispersed maintenance operations across the UK, for instance, it was the managers job to be talking around the engineers and their colleagues. In BA, it would appear that managers either sit in their office, or they might turn up to the crew briefing zone. The managers don't appear to accept the responsibility for the behaviour of their staff, and don't get out and about enough. Why, then, are they managers?
These are only some of the things that look in my opinion to be different.
If much of this is the case, this dispute will not end until the bassa top junta are all removed, and until BA hold their managers accountable..

Hipennine 25th Mar 2011 11:29


perhaps their managers aren't yet sufficiently confident that things have now changed, and they have the opportunity to manage without a threatened walk-out.

Also, in most businesses, anybody with "Director" in their title would be regarded as a manager, but it seems in IFCE that is not necessarily so. It's a strange topsy-turvy world thay live in !

Ancient Observer 25th Mar 2011 11:58

Good point. Some of the "CSD"s are, in effect, strike leaders. Some, however, appear to want to earn their money and do provide pro-BA leadership.

When I've commented on their role in the past, some CSDs have posted on here, pointing out that they do see themselves as managers.

Whilst BA needs to do this from the moral high ground, I would find a way to fire those strike-leading "CSD"s.

LD12986 25th Mar 2011 12:09

On the basis of comments by Keith Williams (to the effect that the major legacy issues have been addressed) and recent and current recruitment (Frank Van Der Post for example) it seems that there is to be a renewed investment in the product and service (catering improvements are coming in May) and a focus on growing the business. Cabin crew are obviously a big part of this and I suspect one reason why BA has allowed this to drag on for so long instead of forcing an end is because it knows it needs to pick up the pieces afterwards.

BA will have monitored forward booking trends as well as tracking perceptions of the brand amongst different groups and seems comfortable with the current situation and this seems to be borne out by the traffic statistics.

I take the point about managers getting out and talking to staff but if CC has been allowed over decades to become a separate empire within BA and BASSA (to give it some credit) has positioned itself as the sole source of the truth, this is not going to be reversed overnight. One of the major differences on Mixed Fleet is that the CSM is an actual BA manager grade, thus they are "management".

Diplome 25th Mar 2011 12:18


There is a post on the Cabin Crew thread regarding Mr. Holley being warned by authorities regarding harrassment. I'm not sure what the source is or what the harrassment was specifically regarding.

Joao "nazi moedrating"???? A bit overwrought.

LD12986: Interesting comment regarding the management status at Mixed Fleet.

I've always been under the impression that if you are able to strike then you aren't true management.

Juan Tugoh 25th Mar 2011 13:45

I think the offer that was on the table many moons ago was that the concept of MF would be dropped (as BF had listened to what the crew wanted when a feedback exercise was undertaken and crew wanted to avoid another fleet,) but this offer was rejected by BASSA negotiators before the first strike ballot. Given the additional cost that the dispute has caused to BA, and the fact that this cost was always going to be recouped from the IFCE budget, I think it will be a cold day in Hell before BA start to talk about integration of the two fleets.

BASSA does not have negotiating rights over MF and I think BA would rather that they never do. BA are only just starting to get a handle on the cost savings and flexibility in disruption that MF can deliver. MF work to Scheme and again it will be a cold day in Hell before BA allow MF to work to the same industrial limits that legacy crew have - the extra cost and loss of flexibility would be enormous.

I am sure that BASSA would love to have talks regarding the integration of the two fleets but that would defeat the whole point of MF; I doubt that BA would even entertain the concept - certainly not at the moment. I said that this dispute was "about resetting the relationship between union and company," until that is done, I think BA will only talk about settling this dispute on their terms. There may be a few very small concessions but nothing major. If, and only if, the disfunctional relationship between BA and BASSA is changed to BA's satisfaction then talks about integration of the fleets may take place. However, I do not foresee that happening for a long time.

In reality it is hard to assess what it would take for the rank and file membership of BASSA to end the dispute and return to work. The dispute has been handled in such a way as to concentrate all decision making into a few, dogma driven, individuals. The rank and file have had little say over whether to accept any of the BA proposals. If you believe the rhetoric that has come from BASSA it is hard to see how this dispute can be resolved. It would be instructive if an opinion taking exercise were to be done and see what people actually wanted, sadly, I suspect the BASSA leadership are happier telling their members what they want than listening to them. So the dispute will rumble on a little longer. I predict another No vote with a smaller turnout and a smaller majority - I stand by to be proven wrong!

Litebulbs 25th Mar 2011 13:56

If you had to choose, would you go for adjusting current working arrangements to allow integration of MF, or maintain for as long as possible your current terms as MF grows.

Both will save and therefore allow for negotiation going forward, even though it was a missed chance before.

Juan Tugoh 25th Mar 2011 14:04

That's a tough one. The longer term thinker would try to get everyone into the same negotiating group as then they would have a long term future but I suspect that the cost would be too high for many to stomach. This is though somewhat academic as BA will not, in my opinion, countenance BASSA having rights to negotiate for MF. Their track record is too troublesome and therefore the cost of gaining such rights would be prohibitive. So perhaps I would stick with the higher salary and hope it lasted for another few years. I would also start looking for a new job!

Litebulbs 25th Mar 2011 14:11

Are you talking about Bassa as a negotiating group, or the membership as a whole?

Juan Tugoh 25th Mar 2011 14:27

Oops I see what you mean.

In the long term legacy crew are a dying breed. This may take many years but the writing is on the wall for the fleet (not individuals), natural wastage will see to this. As MF grows and legacy crew numbers decline, they will be forced onto a more and more limited number of routes. So as the legacy crew do decline, albeit slowly, BASSA will become less and less relevant UNLESS they can in some way arrange to become the negotiating body for MF. So, at the moment, the two are the same - or could, for the immediate future, be used as a shorthand for the same thing.

If legacy fleet dies so does BASSA. I think the only way BASSA will get these negotiating rights will be by forced recognition, by getting the numbers in MF to the required percentage, and I cannot see BA being at all helpful here. For MF they would probably give voluntary recognition to the PCCC if for no other reason than to run interference. BASSA has to change or it will ultimately be sidelined and die. BA will be doing all they can to achieve this.

Litebulbs 25th Mar 2011 14:36

And yet another question:)

Do you see legacy as pre 97 or pre MF?

Juan Tugoh 25th Mar 2011 15:16

Pre MF - the rest are in the same negotiating group and operate the same routes to the same industrial agreements.

Sporran 25th Mar 2011 15:27


Good point.

I think there are 2 sets of legacy crew:
- pre-97 are on the old contract and have a much higher basic salary.
- post-97 are on smaller basic salaries, but everything else is similar.
The only difference between these legacy crews is the change in basic salaries, evrything else in their contracts is the same and they still operate to some very out-of-date industrial agreements.

The new MF crews are on TOTALLY different remuneration packages. I think that there is NO chance of integrating MF crews with Legacy crews because they are two totally different entities. The legacy crews operate to some very restrictive industrial agreements, whereas the MF crew work much closer to the CAA scheme rules. BA are now able to open routes that were deemed to be 'marginal' because of the increased flexibilty that the MF crews offer.

I believe there have already been issues regarding MF crews and the length of flying duties - crew that have just operated S/H and different crew that have operated L/H trip and could be either aclimitised or not acclimitised. Add the additional complexity of industrial agreements and it would negate the benefits of MF being in place.

bassa could have had an influence in the use of MF and the manner it which routes were transferred. However, their unwillingness to enter into meaningful dialogue has left them as unwanted outsiders looking in!

Litebulbs 25th Mar 2011 16:37

And those agreements are where future negotiation could happen. If I was a Bassa member, I would be looking at two choices now, either wither on the vine or mitigate loss. Both will add further savings to BA, but obviously one more than another over the next 50 years.

mrpony 25th Mar 2011 16:52

That last post of yours has conjured up an image of a few very expensive 'legacy routes' being operated by silver-haired and rather doddery CC in 2025.
There is a pub somewhere near Southampton called 'The Yellow Pen'.

Sporran 25th Mar 2011 16:58


Totally agree.

However, I do not think that kind of negotiation is remotely possible with the present militant 'leadership' who only seem to want confrontation at every turn. In my time in BA bassa have always had a very bad reputation for their seeming inability to negotiate. In the past it has worked, which is why BA cabin crew enjoy the T&Cs that they do. I would suggest that was not down to negotiating skills, but rather to weak management who inevitably gave in the moment bassa used their normal negotiating tactic of - 'strike unless we get what we want'!

Times have changed massively. All other unions / branches have recognised this - and negotiated accordingly. Alas, bassa have not moved with the times! They did not understand or appreciate the financial climate, they had made a deliberate and conscious decision NOT to look at the independant financial figures available, they felt they could offer a 2 year loan rather than proper savings and they seemed to feel it was acceptable for every other department in BA to make savings - except them!

The bassa leadership have been shown on many occasions to be extremely short on truth, but very long on rhetoric and blatant untruths. Their financial calculations have been shown to be childlike in there accuracy - 173M savings which turned out to be only about 52M. They have shown themselves to be complete amateurs dealing with professionals. Surely it is time for the cabin crew community to be represented by professionals as well. I appreciate that Untie officials are professionals, but that is of no consequence while bassa continue to veto any progress by the parent union!

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