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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)

TightSlot 21st Mar 2011 15:41

BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V
 
Title says it all...

Ancient Observer 21st Mar 2011 16:01

Tightslot has been very restrained.

Might I remind posters of a couple of Forum Rules.....


"No flaming/personal attacks. (Play the ball, not the player.)"
"Stay on topic."

I would add a new rule (copyright JSL) - "Use some emotional intelligence."

Joao da Silva 21st Mar 2011 16:31

In Defence of Vintage Krug

If you can get him/her off the topic and into more general conversation about using BA mileage schemes and other such things, you will find it adds a lot of value to this forum.

A very experienced traveller.

Fender Strat 21st Mar 2011 17:07

Um... regarding the ongoing debate on BASSA's accounts, this isn't the first time that the certification officer has been called in. The last occasion was in 1996,when it ran a 12 month investigation on claims of financial irregularity. The conclusion drawn then was that there was no evidence of a significant issue of financial corruption, but that there was extremely bad administration, weak financial controls and nonimplementation of the union's rules regarding control of branch finances. The incumbent branch secretary was reported to collect over £100k pa of which half came from commission on membership dues.

Now given that was over 10 years ago, you'd think the members might have been a bit more savvy. You might also expect the union to have done more to ensure that BASSA were toeing the line. History does seem to be repeating itself.

mrpony 21st Mar 2011 17:48

Report of a letter from afar
 
Strange to relate so soon after Fender Strat's post above:

Via a circuitous and slightly surreal exchange of messages and emails involving amongst other things an internet cafe in Whistler, B.C., a spy ( signature MILITTLI!) has sent me what purports to be a report about a letter from the Certification Officer(CO):

The CO decided not to take any action with regards to access to accounting records without further evidence.

The CO would be prepared to consider any further information in the future.

With regards to holding of elections under branch rules the CO's powers are limited to breaches of rules, not the fairness of rules adopted by a union.


MILITTLI describes him/herself as a 'a party with an interest vested in a pension scheme and hence the rest of my life' who took information freely available in the public domain and made it available to the CO.

Make of it what you will. It comes with a big disclaimer - no dates, no names, nothing specific. Still, this is a rumor network.

If it is to be believed and is recent then the CO needs valid, evidenced complaints, preferably from members or ex-members, to be made in order to trigger the process of probing a Union's accounts. Elections seem to be a matter determined by the organisation regardless of what the law says, incredibly. If a Union's own election rules are being broken then the CO has a say.

The Certification Officer's website is easily found by search engine. Those new to this thread should refer to T&Q IV for background and extensive links.
Certification Officer - Home

LD12986 21st Mar 2011 21:28

There was an article in The Independent in 1997 about BASSA's record-keeping:

Sacked BA union man to appeal - News - The Independent

BASSA and CC89 certainly have some history!

Snas 21st Mar 2011 21:58

In my humble… paying those sort of sums to a lay rep is inevitably going to lead to tears, I struggle to see any justification for it.

Fender Strat 21st Mar 2011 22:41

What may have escaped people's notice is that the 1997 incident involved the predecessor to the current branch secretary. Now you would have thought that given the Certification Officer's comments that a new branch secretary would have gone overboard to ensure that the branch financial matters were sorted out. I have no way of knowing if any attempt was made in that respect, but it does seem somewhat ironic that we are seeing the same complaint raised again. One can only surmise that BASSA members don't care what happens to the cash that their branch extracts from them. Which I find odd given the volume of wailing about how cabin crew get such a rough deal from BA with regards to pay etc.

What is more extraordinary is that the TGWU did not see fit to try and sort this out. Bear in mind that the current General Secretary of Unite is a TGWU man. One wonders if the apparent lack of enforcement of union procedures is yet another example of double standards within Unite.

PAXboy 21st Mar 2011 22:42

Vested interests will always dig in. It's human nature to not give up what they have. It does not matter how they acquired it, or how much times have changed. So there is nothing unusual or exceptional in ANY of this. It's not nice but it IS normal. :ugh:

call100 21st Mar 2011 22:58


Originally Posted by Snas (Post 6321885)
In my humble… paying those sort of sums to a lay rep is inevitably going to lead to tears, I struggle to see any justification for it.

Although perfectly legal if the rules allow it, I agree with you in the same vein as I think that too much money is paid to Bankers, CEO's and other directors of large companies.
In the case of BASSA I would think that any FTO would find it difficult having dealings with a Branch Secretary on those sort of wages.
It will be interesting to see if anyone will step forward in any future elections who wishes to change things. Years of experience tells me they won't. Many members tend to take the easy option and resign rather than stand and fight for change from within. This is not surprising as most can't be bothered to attend any kind of meeting, regardless of how important or significant.
I don't have any axe to grind with those who leave, it's just the way things are. The problem is that BASSA will survive and eventually regroup and there won't be anyone there to make the changes needed.
This whole dispute became too personal IMO. Maybe the new CEO can change the situation. There have been talks going on behind the scenes with Unite, so, who knows?
One thing is certain, whatever the outcome of the ballot, a lot of people are going to be left feeling bitter, which is not going to help BA in the future.

Fender Strat 21st Mar 2011 23:27

Call100

The Independent report in 1997 stated that the then BASSA branch secretary was the highest paid union official in Britain. His earnings were almost double that of the then general secretary of the parent union the TGWU. Now given that this is a lay position it makes banker's bonuses seem tame by comparison. At least the latter can hold some claim to have generated wealth for their clients, albeit the clientele may be a fraction of the population.

I think you are right though. I cannot see any future branch secretary volunteering to change the situation. It will require Unite to do something pretty drastic to alter the status quo and I'm not clear whether constitutionally they can. Maybe someone closer to the intricacies of BASSA's constitution could enlighten us.

Chuchinchow 22nd Mar 2011 00:32


If you can get him/her off the topic and into more general conversation about using BA mileage schemes and other such things, you will find it adds a lot of value to this forum.
Yes, that's as maybe - but the title of this thread (emblazoned at the top of each page) is BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V

Only three messages into a new thread and already off-subject. Is that a record?

Joao da Silva 22nd Mar 2011 05:46


Only three messages into a new thread and already off-subject. Is that a record?
As far as I can see no-one has yet posted on subject.

This thread is indeed entitled BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V.

The content seems to be mainly about the minutiae of union branch governance.

Litebulbs 22nd Mar 2011 07:59

My thoughts are this. The last strike cost 200K in lost passengers. How much did that cost? If each pax was a £300 spend, then £50m in revenue, before any cost of contingency, to deliver the service that BA did. That is a big number (c).

Now most unions would think that this would be a position of power, but BA in its very actions through this dispute, have shown the long term savings (s) are worth the end result and IIRC the £150m per year saving has already been made through the reduced crew numbers alone. MF is a bonus (n), which because it is not an integrated fleet to legacy, it can grow unchecked. Now if c/s<=1, then the business will see it as worthwhile. If you now have c/(s+n), then even more so.

The only way this can be changed is will be a 9000 yes vote with a massive walkout. Does anybody think that this will happen?

Litebulbs 22nd Mar 2011 08:14

Drift, but interesting
 
Norman Tebbit the striker and Balpa too posh to picket!

BBC iPlayer - My Strike

Hipennine 22nd Mar 2011 08:27

9000 Yes vote
 
LB, that summation has got to be the most succinct and accurate assessment of the reality of the situation.

Isn't the important question therefore, how to persuade the probably much smaller number of yes voters, that this is the real situation ?

Joao da Silva 22nd Mar 2011 09:23

The dispute seems to be quagmired, presently.

Even the BASSA branch secretary apparently acknowledges that a futher strike is unlikely.

It seems to me that there is a delicate balance at present, between the desire to exploit the freedom to recruit MF and the savings imposed, versus the desire to have a happy workforce.

I cannot believe that BA is content to run a business where thousands keep voting for industrial action; it simple is not healthy, but then again a return to the old ways is not, either.

So, with a change of CEO and union GS, can they finesse a way to keep the savings and MF, as well as making the disaffected employees (some of whom are not unionised, such as Betty Girl) happier and feeling fairly treated.

If not, then a long path of attrition until retirements and resignations play their part lies ahead.

If BA does wish to improve the experience (and the company recently appointed a new chief to overseet his), then one cannot help but feel that having a contented workforce (especially in customer facing roles) would be a good start.

mrpony 22nd Mar 2011 09:42

How will this dispute end?
 
That's my question.

It's all over bar the shouting, kicking and screaming. I can only imagine a complete end if BASSA's leadership goes and it then becomes a question of when.

Can anyone see a future for BASSA in its current guise, if so how long will it last?

LB - tks for link.

StoneyBridge Radar 22nd Mar 2011 10:42

This thread used to be valuable, if only for the entertainment value of Duncan's drunken missives and anecdotes.

Where has he gone since his failed ET ?

He no longer appears to be on here or Cabin Crew Forum.

Has he done an Adolf and retreated to his bunker (afterall, he does like his historical references)? Has Unite gagged him (highly improbable)? Is he busy negotiating a killer deal with the Samosa maker.....?

....or has he finally realised this is now the end game? Foolishly gloating that a Yes ballot will not result in IA, but that the mere threat of it will be enough to harm BA's bottom line, shows how little powder BASSA have left in their chest, how desperate they have become and how disparate they are from reality. I'm sure Unite see they are dealing with an egomaniac of loose tongue and misplaced motive.

The company have got what they wanted and much more, thanks to the ineptitude and arrogance of BASSA.

What else is there to talk about until the ballot is in and we banally climb back onto the merry-go-round of whether this time it was legal and correct?

I believe BA now couldn't care less. BASSA is no more than a mild irritant of no consequence, no power and no influence.

It's over.

notlangley 22nd Mar 2011 12:05

Thank you so much Litebulbs for that BBCi player link._ I think that it is generally very much on topic._ It is specifically on topic with the domino comments about the open-air show of hands._ Very few will be able to spare a whole hour to watch this._ But those who do will find it most rewarding and a valuable insight into what underlies and under-pins this industrial action.

Ancient Observer 22nd Mar 2011 12:33

LB
thanks for that link. It brought back some memories. Tebbit's memory of the way in which his changes to the laws were processed are somewhat selective, (I was involved in a tiny way in an employer), but that is beyond this thread.

In that programme, the overall reporting of the various strikes was massively simplified......The T & G and the G & M physically fought against the NUM, and fully supported the Notts fields, the NUM corruption isn't mentioned, the EETPU fully supported Murdoch, and so on.

Maybe, though, that programme does tell us how the BA strike will end. A bit like the Miners strike - the energy for the strike drained off in to the sand.
At least Untie hold ballots - which scargill refused to do.

JUAN TRIPP 22nd Mar 2011 13:10

Litebulbs
 

The only way this can be changed is will be a 9000 yes vote with a massive walkout. Does anybody think that this will happen?
NOOOOOOOOO Way. There will be a massive yes vote - 5500 ish but a massive walkout. No. If DH goes nuclear and goes for a 2 month all out, I believe no more than 2000ish will support him. I also think DH will go for a strike depite telling everyone last month he wouldn't. Easter and Will and Kate's big day out are too much temptation for him to resist.
What is interesting is that Unite seem at last to have got their figures right as 4 crew who I know who got a ballot form in Jan despite leaving months before, have this time not got one. ( However Unite do still send me annoying text messages - I've just got another right now!!) :ugh:

Sadly I believe and hope there is another strike and a long one at that. Reason being is that IMO its the ONLY way this dispute is going to end, one way or the other.

Juan Tugoh 22nd Mar 2011 13:30

There is a certainly a boil that needs to be lanced here. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the various issues at play, this corrosive dispute needs to be brought to an end. Someone needs to win this dispute so it can be put to bed and allow everyone to move on.

To that end perhaps the best thing would be a good old fashioned strike - not a 12 day or several 5 day "optional" strikes. Those who genuinely believe should have the courage of their convictions and get on with it. The support they need to win the strike will either materialise or not, but at least we would all know where we stood. This wishy-washy phoney-war period helps no-one, the strikers are no farther forward and BA is still suffering from the damage caused by the threat of IA. It is easy for the militants to prolong the dispute if all they are risking is a few days pay. Time for action!

GrahamO 22nd Mar 2011 14:02

@ Litebulbs
 

The only way this can be changed is will be a 9000 yes vote with a massive walkout. Does anybody think that this will happen?
Second answer first. No.

First part - if it happens there will be 9,000 redundancies and re-offered jobs under different T&C's, not a surrender by BA, as may be implied.

Even 9,000 strikers voting would not result in a change in BA as to do so, would be industrial suicide. Sacking 9,000 would be horrendous, but not as horrendous as the subsequent collapse of the airline when investors and managers realise it is being run for the benefit of the cabin crew and not those who actually own and fund the company.

That would make an interesting case study - given the relative ease by which a company can fold, and recreate itself under new management etc, could BA return to its one vaunted 'worlds favourite airline' status, by restructuring during a recession when its much easier to be brutal?

call100 22nd Mar 2011 14:04


Originally Posted by Joao da Silva (Post 6322344)
As far as I can see no-one has yet posted on subject.

This thread is indeed entitled BA Strike - Your Thoughts & Questions V.

The content seems to be mainly about the minutiae of union branch governance.

Read more carefully...;)

Diplome 22nd Mar 2011 14:05

Has there been any recent news from the PCCC?

Snas 22nd Mar 2011 14:26

Whilst not news I am happy to report that my partner joined the PCCC and very much enjoys the breath of fresh air that is their forum if nothing else. It isn’t back patting and agreement all round by any means, but the debate is respectful, constructive and informative.

She’s very happy that she switched.

"BASSA make a lot more noise and a lot less sense."

Diplome 22nd Mar 2011 14:32

Snas:

In our little forum that qualifies as news :)

I'm patiently waiting to see when and if PCCC is going to present a more public face. It is interesting to watch the process that may result in another negotiating force.

Ancient Observer 22nd Mar 2011 17:20

I agree about wanting to hear more from PC3.

HiFlyer14 - et al - how is it going?

call100 22nd Mar 2011 18:17


Originally Posted by Snas (Post 6323294)
Whilst not news I am happy to report that my partner joined the PCCC and very much enjoys the breath of fresh air that is their forum if nothing else. It isn’t back patting and agreement all round by any means, but the debate is respectful, constructive and informative.

She’s very happy that she switched.

"BASSA make a lot more noise and a lot less sense."

Do the members keep it all secret like the leaders? Does anyone know where their funding is coming from exactly?
That is in no way an attack on PCCC I wish them luck if it's what the people want. Even if I disagree with a leadership that remains in hiding and have doubts over it's funding.

MPN11 22nd Mar 2011 19:43

Phewww ...

First, thanks to TightSlot for letting things run on. I do appreciate that. :ok:


Next, this is supposed to be an SLF Thread about the strike ... "Your Thoughts and Questions". Whilst I fully understand that the 'inner workings' of BASSA are germane, it would be nice to see some broader discussion on how the dispute [or whatever you call it] affects the SLF. Isn't that what this Thread's supposed to be about?

Such as, for starters, I'm forward booked all the way to October, and I don't give a sh 1t? Who else is ignoring, or otherwise, the MONSTER THREAT that is BASSA? Are they having any impact on BA? Do the SLF care one iota?

Do we have to spend our entire time micro-managing the inner workings of BASSA? That's where I, and I suspect TightSlot , have got bored with this. Until BASSA, or BA, or the High Court, have something to say of substance ... or individual PPRuNe members have something really relevant to say ...
can't we all just chill a bit?

call100 22nd Mar 2011 19:57


Originally Posted by MPN11 (Post 6323906)
Phewww ...

First, thanks to TightSlot for letting things run on. I do appreciate that. :ok:


Next, this is supposed to be an SLF Thread about the strike ... "Your Thoughts and Questions". Whilst I fully understand that the 'inner workings' of BASSA are germane, it would be nice to see some broader discussion on how the dispute [or whatever you call it] affects the SLF. Isn't that what this Thread's supposed to be about?

Such as, for starters, I'm forward booked all the way to October, and I don't give a sh 1t? Who else is ignoring, or otherwise, the MONSTER THREAT that is BASSA? Are they having any impact on BA? Do the SLF care one iota?

Do we have to spend our entire time micro-managing the inner workings of BASSA? That's where I, and I suspect TightSlot , have got bored with this. Until BASSA, or BA, or the High Court, have something to say of substance ... or individual PPRuNe members have something really relevant to say ...
can't we all just chill a bit?

Perfectly reasonable, except, that according to yourself and many others on here, it's not affecting them at all.
|I don't see why other aspects cannot be discussed if connected with the dispute during the lull. If people don't want to join in the discussion they are at liberty to either ignore it or move it politely into the direction they wish it go.

MPN11 22nd Mar 2011 20:06

Call100, that's a perfectly fair comment.

Perhaps we 'need' another thread [sorry, Mods] on the non-CC aspects of Union inner workings?

For myself, apart from a certain voyeuristic aspect on what/how Unions operate, I've largely lost interest. BASSA's activities won't affect my travel plans, in exactly the same way that they didn't around this time last year [exempt volcano]. Isn't that where we started, so long ago?

Personally I don't give a sh 1t ... BA will fly me from A to B as usual. :cool:

Snas 22nd Mar 2011 20:25


Do the members keep it all secret like the leaders? Does anyone know where their funding is coming from exactly?

Well, I'm far from an expert on the inner working of the PCCC, but I do know there are no subs or union fees, therefore no funding.

The costs for the organisation to date must be tiny, a web site, a bit of printing perhaps and perhaps a professional fee here and there, nothing that would stretch the founders own pockets so far I would guess.

west lakes 22nd Mar 2011 20:35

Certainly in the early stages it was funded by the founder members, the first web site being produced by one of them.

Since then, reading bits here and there some individuals have donated to the running costs.

What is absolutely certain, despite the BASSA spin, BA are not involved with the operation in any way!

Dawdler 22nd Mar 2011 21:45

Litebulbs I-Player Link
 
I think Norman Tebbitt had a very good point when as a pilot he was taking part in a BOAC strike. The newsman commented about there being no pickets on the gate. "Well," said Norman "If you have to picket your own gate, you haven't got your message across."

call100 22nd Mar 2011 22:24


Originally Posted by MPN11 (Post 6323953)
Call100, that's a perfectly fair comment.

Perhaps we 'need' another thread [sorry, Mods] on the non-CC aspects of Union inner workings?

For myself, apart from a certain voyeuristic aspect on what/how Unions operate, I've largely lost interest. BASSA's activities won't affect my travel plans, in exactly the same way that they didn't around this time last year [exempt volcano]. Isn't that where we started, so long ago?

Personally I don't give a sh 1t ... BA will fly me from A to B as usual. :cool:

I can understand your point, but, it was 'SLF' who began to question the inner workings of the TU involved in the dispute that the thread was referring to. Title contains 'Your thoughts and questions'. With questions come answers that in themselves create more questions. So any thread is going to produce a modicum of thread drift, especially in the periods between ballots, results, and action (if any).
If, as you say, you don't give 'sh 1t', why not wait until the result is in and then rejoin the debate at a point that might interest you?
I don't think there will be any action in the future that will disrupt BA to any extent and they will deliver their services. So you are right not much has moved on for the regular and occasional (Me) BA pax. However different aspects of the dispute still create 'thoughts and questions' of interest to some.

call100 22nd Mar 2011 22:35


Originally Posted by west lakes (Post 6324026)
Certainly in the early stages it was funded by the founder members, the first web site being produced by one of them.

Since then, reading bits here and there some individuals have donated to the running costs.

What is absolutely certain, despite the BASSA spin, BA are not involved with the operation in any way!

I didn't wish to infer BA funding......The questions still stand though.
They seem to be struggling to get to the 40% required position. I would have thought they would have been there by now.

Litebulbs 22nd Mar 2011 22:42

Dawdler
 
Mr Tebbitt's comments at the end really made me think and one conclusion it that he would be seen as a moderate today. The battles and challenges are no more than history now, but some of the legislation of that time were probably a good thing, but because of the polarised view and agendas of either side, no happy median could be found.

I am not and will probably never be a gold card holding First flying exec, so I will see things differently to most on this thread, but why would anyone want to work in a pit either?

This dispute is not about pit working, it is about redistribution of wealth. Do you need to pay a crew member any more than what the new hat wearing crew are on? Do you need a Mercedes or a Mondeo in the cabin? Only time will tell if BA will loose or gain customers because of its cabin crew.

No doubt there are a few on here who spend more in travel each year, than I get paid in a wage and I am in the top 10% so generally I will be in the minority, but it is still an interesting debate.

Litebulbs 22nd Mar 2011 22:48


Originally Posted by call100 (Post 6324279)
I didn't wish to infer BA funding......The questions still stand though.
They seem to be struggling to get to the 40% required position. I would have thought they would have been there by now.

I doubt if they would have got 5000 signed up to their cause yet, as the current Unite membership is around 9000, but I have been wrong many times on here.

The big test will be if BA grant voluntary recognition. If they do, they will be seen as on side, if not then I imagine it will be a fair time yet until the PCCC are negotiating. Good luck to them anyway as they are listed as a union and better to have them in a TUC recognised union, than not!


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