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BA/bmi merger (was Virgin & Balpa - bmi next ?)

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BA/bmi merger (was Virgin & Balpa - bmi next ?)

Old 10th Apr 2012, 21:09
  #321 (permalink)  
 
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Just curious...what would have happened if BMI did fold and BA opened up a shortened fast track selection procedure for the pilots, took over the BMI aircraft leases and bought their slots at auction. Where would the BMI pilots go on the master seniority list then?
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 21:29
  #322 (permalink)  
 
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One possible way that BA and BALPA could be persuaded to place the BMI pilots on the seniority list based on their DOJ BMI is to convince them that it is the only legally correct method to merge the 2 pilot bodies.
Why would BALPA need convincing, it was their idea, one that they conveniently seem to have forgotten now that one of the companies involved is BA.
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 21:40
  #323 (permalink)  
 
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Once again, someone is missing the point that's it's not BA and BALPA that need convincing about merging seniority lists, it's BA and the BACC. Big BALPA could insist on a merged until they are blue in the face but the BACC won't sign up to it because they know the BA pilots and most probably BA themselves won't wear it.
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 22:07
  #324 (permalink)  
 
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Londonmet,
There are a lot if 'ifs' there. I suspect BA didn't go down that route because they wouldn't have got as many slots and the cost of training the new crew from scratch would have been prohibitive. But just guessing!
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 07:23
  #325 (permalink)  
 
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Unhappy

To all BMI mainline pilots,

I am, as a BA pilot, considerably more sympathetic to your aspirations than most, however I am observing quiet but subtle manoeuvres by key protagonists in these consultations that will make your future somewhat bleaker than your current worries about being merged on to the bottom of our MSL.

BA will very likely be approaching 737 rated BMI 'group' pilots for assessment to work out of LGW. This will further reduce the required number of Airbus rated pilots for the new combined fleet at LHR.

I anticipate a 'take it or leave it' contract to hit your doormats in the next few months that will no doubt put 'seniority issues' far from your minds.

Good luck.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 07:51
  #326 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the heads up
I would hope on the face of it that this is an attempt to minimise any potential redundancies in the event that a buyer is not found for baby. It would seem crazy to give up a resource pool, to then only recruit at a higher overall cost. Let's all hope something that is mutually acceptable comes out of the meetings tomorrow.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 08:17
  #327 (permalink)  
Couldonlyaffordafiver
 
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It may be worthwhile to seek independent Counsel opinion and present it to both parties, thereby hoping that good sense prevails.
Good sense would suggest that the BMICC should have engaged independent counsel as soon as they were aware of the likelihood of a takeover rather than leaving it to the last minute. If they did this then it was probably a good move.

The trouble is that if they haven't done it by now, BA are not going to halt the integration process to give them a chance to put their house in order. They can't afford to prolong BMI's losses.

I also see the BMI pilots being presented with a fait accompli.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 08:39
  #328 (permalink)  
 
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The Gatwick 737 operation and the bmi 'group'

BA will very likely be approaching 737 rated BMI 'group' pilots for assessment to work out of LGW
Care to elaborate on that?

One minute we are hearing that BA have no intention of integrating any part of the bmi group, other than mainline. Now there is 'very likely' rumour from a BA pilot suggesting that individuals within the bmi group who hold a 737 rating may actually be integrated into the Gatwick operation, subject to assessment??

BA have a number of 737 rated pilots in their current hold pool who have already BEEN through assessment at Cranebank. Its a double figure amount and I know a number of them! Now, I have no desire to see either Baby, Regional or the overall size of Mainline being obliterated by this merger, however there are guys here who have been waiting by the wings and who have worked bloody hard to get a place in BA. Are they likely to see their chances take a further nose dive because IAG can't find a buyer for Baby? I presume we are talking about Baby here when you mention 737 rated pilots within the 'bmi group?'

Last edited by Callsign Kilo; 11th Apr 2012 at 08:50.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 09:08
  #329 (permalink)  
 
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My source in true PPRuNe tradition, is purely 'off the record', but the business needs of a robust and dare I say it, uncaring BA management are dictated by minimising complexity.

The BA Flight Operations hierarchy seek to have pilots of a brand loyal nature from the off. Employing those who elect to accept the T's and C's without bitterness and hollow self entitlement might ensure that sentiment. With that in mind it seems the business case of opening up recruitment to LGW to the Baby pilots is under consideration thus making the guaranteed employment of Mainline Airbus pilots less likely.

Ruthless, I know, but BA want desperation from the BMI community in order to fulfill their aims of having a compliant and unbitter future ex-BMI workforce.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 09:10
  #330 (permalink)  
 
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Mere speculation on my part, but maybe, BA's legal advice is that some of BMI Baby's pilots do hold mainline contracts? Offering them jobs at LGW reduces the number of BMI pilots that have to be offered redundancy? As I say, all speculation. more may become clearer tomorrow, though I doubt it as BA normally insist on negotiations/consultations being kept confidential until the end.
May I offer my colleagues wishes in wishing BMI pilots Good Luck. I wouldn't wish the likes of the BA negotiating team on anyone.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 09:24
  #331 (permalink)  
 
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With that in mind it seems the business case of opening up recruitment to LGW to the Baby pilots is under consideration thus making the guaranteed employment of Mainline Airbus pilots less likely.
So potentially, in a space of a few weeks, you could go from being a Captain or a FO at a lo-co operation with a very uncertain future to DEC or DEFO at BA on their 737 fleet? Hardly a 'take it or leave it' option and all based on the fact that BA management desire a no drama, subservient pilot workforce? Really?

I can see the probability of BA attempting to take those within Mainline who were once rated on the 737 into the LGW operation in order to reduce the crew composition of their 'Euro Fleet' operation. But this - this doesn't add up. In terms of waiting periods, those rated on the 737 who have went through BA's recent DEP recruitment process have had the longest wait due to BA's type streaming policy. Waiting times range between 5-10 months + for a 737 placement at LGW. There can't be that many places on the SHAG fleet surely?

Last edited by Callsign Kilo; 11th Apr 2012 at 09:48. Reason: Something to add
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 09:25
  #332 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks

101917

Thanks for the prompt response.

If I interpret your post correctly, and apologies if I haven't, then it would seem that BA have three main options:

1. Integrate in DOJ order
2. Ring fence the BMI pilots
3. Allow themselves to be persuaded that the BMI chaps should go to the bottom of the list but with enhanced rights that negates the prospect of legal action in the future (and damn the cynics).

There has been much discussion about this and it has varied from integrate in DOJ order, which would be a big win for the BMI chaps, to shoving them with a "you're lucky to have a job sticker" at the bottom of the list.

Neither of these options was fair nor likely. Both it would seem attract a danger of legal action and for that reason BA will steer well clear. Although a ring fenced group within BA is undesirable for them, it's not impossible and would probably be more cost effective in the short term than legal action.

I didn't really see the ring fenced option coming until recently. It may be a bargaining chip, but it's a good one. If the only legal way to integrate the two workforces is in DOJ order, then I think a ring fenced group is more likely. There is no reason that this group cannot operate BA airplanes as discrete crews or even with BA pilots. Industrial agreements would not necessarily preclude this as operating standards are a separate consideration.

BA pilots guard their position on the status list very carefully because it impacts on everything in their working lives, much of which has been discussed here, and whilst by no means perfect, especially when you're near the bottom, for anyone with a long career in front of them the most important thing is to be on it.

As I said, if it's a bargaining chip it's a good one. There is of course the possibility that this ploy may be a starter for ten and that further negotiation is possible.

Once again thanks for your thoughts and all the best to all
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 09:31
  #333 (permalink)  
 
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The 737 rumour is a new one!
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 09:43
  #334 (permalink)  
 
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The 737 rumour is a new one!
Yes, another one to add to the melting pot. I can't help but think there will be a sense of initial relief when the masterplan is released by BA/IAG - whatever the outcome. With all this speculation and uncertainty, closure is desirable.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 09:48
  #335 (permalink)  
 
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BA management may be in some eyes ruthless but not uncaring.

They will try and accomodate as many into the business as possible but the numbers will be dictated by the ongoing expansion requirements and nothing more.

If history is to repeat itself, then i'd be more worried about getting through my first Line and Sim check rather than worry about where i'll be on any seniorty list.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 10:00
  #336 (permalink)  
 
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Stormin norman. To be fair, flying an Airbus around LHR is a bit different to flying a turboprop around the regions.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 12:04
  #337 (permalink)  
 
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If history is to repeat itself, then i'd be more worried about getting through my first Line and Sim check rather than worry about where i'll be on any seniorty list.
As far as training goes, all new BMI entrants will follow the standard DEP short course; consisting of one weeks groundschool and four sim sessions, followed by an LPC/OPC. Line training will be a minimum of 14 sectors with line check included. In addition it has also been confirmed that all captains will be subject to a final command check. Historically during buyouts (think Dan Air/Citiflyer) this is where a number of people have struggled to make the grade.
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 14:59
  #338 (permalink)  
 
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Again, I agree with 101917.
The complication in addition to the points made in 101917's last post, is that even Counsel will have different opinions about how the issue of DoJ/ Seniority, (only when Seniority = DoJ), will eventually be resolved in UK law. There are multiple perspectives - including political perspectives..............so many that spelling them out is beyond my typing skills. Even the "ring fencing" option is open to challenge.

There is one possible way through, which is an opinion from an Employment QC which I received, (about a slightly different issue, and she was a left wing QC, so might not be in tune with the current Supreme Court perspective). The Age Discrimination stuff was supposed to be "sorted" by employers by late 2011, as 101917 says.
However, the QC suggested to me that an employer undertaking a "major" change after then might be able to argue that they needed 5 years from the effective date of the change to sort out all the issues. Thus, BA might be able to do some sort of deal with balpa and resist any challenges to that deal for up to 5 years.......as they were "sorting it out". As 5 years is a lifetime in Employee Relations, maybe that would do........
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 15:05
  #339 (permalink)  
 
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So re-deployment of BMI baby pilots to BA mainline, subject to passing full DEP selection... BMI mainline pilots to get BA without any selection. Any news on BMIR?
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 16:24
  #340 (permalink)  
 
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There is possibly another solution whereby a factoring of BMI pilotís length of service might be acceptable. For example, if an individualís length of service was to be notionally reduced by 3 years they could then be placed on the list at an appropriate point.
I think a factoring of about 25 years is a more realistic figure.
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