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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 24th Mar 2012, 12:28
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BA/bmi merger (was Virgin & Balpa - bmi next ?)

Seems bmi mainline CC having a challenging time in negotiations with BACC over possible "integration", if EU allows purchase to go through.

Many bmi Balpa members may eventually have to considering the role of Balpa HQ in this and their future options for membership of, and support from alternative pilot associations in the UK.

While there are a lot of "ifs" still, it seems from the current crew room murmurs that if this process carries on in the same direction then there could well be a few hundred bmi mainline members leaving Balpa to find alternative representation.

Given the feelings about Balpa in Virgin - is there still a move towards an alternative association - rumours about a link up with Unite, or a stronger and growing IPA ?

This could be something of a major breakpoint for Balpa and its association with the "Independents", but from the complete silence from HQ they don't seem to get it .....
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 17:20
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I hope you've read the recent posting from the BACC chairman on the Balpa general members forum.

BA have stopped recruiting. If the EU allow the merger then the slot cost is looking to be far higher than anyone expected. It may make the proposition unworkable.

Either way there 'aint enough seats to go around and the one thing everybody has been trying to avoid (the dreaded R word) is not just looking likely but an almost certainty.

and still people demanding seniority.

BA are taking a huge hit by buying BMI and supporting the ongoing losses.
BA pilots have taken a hit in productivity and other areas (not entirely altruistically) to support the buying of BMI.

What have BMI pilot's given up?

and still people are demanding seniority.

If you join you will likely have the opportunity to fly great aircraft to great places or you can stay put and maintain your current seniority. Doesn't seem a bad deal to me.

But stamping your feet and threatening to leave a union which has membership in the 90%'s in an airline which you're about to join and somehow suggesting it could lead to the downfall of Balpa smacks of 'toys out the pram' and cutting your nose off to spite your face!!
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 17:49
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Blimey, looks like I just woke up 20 years ago in 1992! Same story today it seems, as was the case with the 'lucky' DAN-AIR few, who happened to be on the right fleet at the right time. Many ex-DAN crew left BALPA and found alternative representation. much to the dislike of the BA hierarchy at the time. History it seems, does have a habit of repeating itself.
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 17:53
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Actually upandoffmyside, having re-read your post I cant decide whether you are a genuinely interested BMI pilot or one of the disaffected Virgin guys who hasn't yet got around to reading the independent reports that drew a line under that very unsavoury episode instigated by a number of the Virgin CC.

I hope you are the former and you weren't just trolling. There are peoples jobs on the line.
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 18:10
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and still people are demanding seniority
Actually in the last 3-4 airline take overs or mergers it is BALPA HQ and their lawyers that have pretty much demanded that whatever process was used peoples seniority was largely preserved. The reason given was that to do otherwise would likely lead to a legal challenge to the whole basis of the seniority system, something that BALPA did not want to contemplate.

Now the airline involved is BA the tune seems rather different. Are we surprised?
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 18:34
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...and name one of those mergers (by the way this is integration) where the buying party gave the decision on whether to merge to the pilots by way of a vote. The outcome of which was binding and the terms (no BA pilot disadvantaged) stated by the buying company (note the company NOT balpa).

Nope, didn't think so.
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 19:57
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upandoffmyside:
While there are a lot of "ifs" still, it seems from the current crew room murmurs that if this process carries on in the same direction then there could well be a few hundred bmi mainline members leaving Balpa to find alternative representation.
To reduce this to your level of debate...

If the BACC are obliged to accept a solution with which they are less than satisfied, a few THOUSAND BA members could leave BALPA and form THEIR OWN union! Taking 50% of BALPA's entire subscriptions with them.

So can I suggest we 'park' your rather naive line, and discuss the factual basis of the situation facing these two pilot groups????

PS: Yes I accept you're just a troll!

Last edited by 4468; 24th Mar 2012 at 21:07.
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 23:30
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If the BAcc forge ahead with their current plans the whole thing will almost certainly lead to a court case challenging the very basis of seniority. The likelihood of seniority standing up to scrutiny with current UK/EU labour laws apparently tends toward zero according to recently sanctioned legal opinion. The lawyers also expressed surprise that nobody had done so to date. We can see where all this is going and it won't be good for any pilot community who's lifestyle depends heavily on the current system. The more the BA pilots try to create a leper colony for bmi pilots post integration, the more they're going to secure the end of what they currently enjoy in terms of control of lifestyle and excellent remuneration. It won't happen straight away obviously, but it won't be far off. All of the above plays into the hands of IAG management. We're on the run as a group of employees, it's better to work together than divide ourselves and all share in the obvious plans for expansion that will arise. No discriminatory seniority lists within seniority lists.

All this could be immaterial come 30th March of course!
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 23:45
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Count with all due respect, do you think BA/Balpa get this far into the process without having gone through every detail/permutation with the lawyers.

There will be no court case I assure you.

May I suggest you look at the Balpa general members forum to see where we are really at as opposed to where you would like to be at.
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Old 24th Mar 2012, 23:58
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From what I've heard the BAcc have consulted the BALPA lawyers quite some time ago and chosen to ignore their advice reference the MSL. If the integration (which doesn't equate to shoving all the bmi pilots to the bottom of the list, that is clearly NOT integration. Any decent dictionary will clarify this) is unfair and doesn't respect the bmi pilots continuity of employment, there will be a legal challenge, the plans are already in place from my understanding. We'll see what unfolds in the upcoming talks which could all be irrelevant come the 30th...
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 00:11
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My final comment on the subject.

During the Cityflyer merger there were 'plans in place' for a legal challenge. There were legal slush funds. Legal representation was sought.
The fact of the matter is the lawyers will tell you whatever you want to hear, it makes no difference to them whether you win or lose. They will still take your money.

In the end it was decided you've got to be in it to win it, and the Cityflyer pilots are now firmly established in the BA community.

But if you want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory then be my guest...

Whatever the outcome I honestly wish the BMI guys and girls all the best in what may be uncertain times.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 00:27
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If the BAcc forge ahead with their current plans the whole thing will almost certainly lead to a court case challenging the very basis of seniority.
Agreed, plans are already being laid. If the rumours of what is being planned by the BACC are true then a court case against BA is pretty much inevitable. Of course it will only come to court if BA bother to contest it and why would they? I am pretty sure that most senior BA managers won't be shedding too many tears if seniority were ruled illegal.

Last edited by Max Angle; 25th Mar 2012 at 15:24.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 00:59
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Super Stall

"Final comment", etc. acknowledged.

Notwithstanding that this all becomes irrelevant if the EU blocks the deal;

In the end it was decided you've got to be in it to win it, and the Cityflyer pilots are now firmly established in the BA community.
- Couldn't agree more.

I would have thought that when most CityFlyer pilots were tagged onto the bottom they still enjoyed a pay rise. Let's leave aside the absence of a whole bunch of LHR slots being brought in. I could be wrong, but it appears that the choice being offered is to be ring fenced, salary frozen (for most for between 10-20 years) & with very little opportunity of enjoying any of the benefits of being "fully" intergrated, or go to the bottom of the list & work up;- the isssue is that for many a large (circa 20-30K) pay cut being the price for that privilege. Given that choice I don't think many could justify that sacrifice to themselves, let alone their families.
I don't think many would argue that the 'ring fenced' option remotely resembles being (as you described) "in it".

(once again, this could all become irrelevant.)

I would be genuinely interested in your choice & the reasons for it given the above.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 01:09
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All BMI pilots should log into the BALPA forums and have a look at the posting from the chairman of the BACC.

The general concern at the moment, rather than bickering about the MSL, is the real threat of redundancy for some BMI pilots due to the reduced slots BA is able to take in the merger.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 06:10
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It may be that the legal challenge will be more about the legality of LIFO as a basis for redundancy than one about seniority.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 06:43
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... seems a bit silly to require loss of slots, since BA will still have fewer than (say) AF at CDG, DLH at FRA, KLM at AMS, Iberia at MAD .... (I am saying this as an independent - these days, this is the competition, not Virgin who are simply too small to make any difference).

... and it seems a bit shortsighted to make people redundant, since new slots are really wanted for longhaul development, which will require far more pilots per slot than shorthaul.

... and it sounds bloomin' absurd to imply that BA is even thinking of acquiring bmi as an act of charity to the employees!! When they are even prepared to treat their own employees as badly as they treat the cabin crew on the new contract, are they really likely to care two hoots for those in another airline??
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 08:35
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May I interject on a slight tangent. I appreciate that seniority is a concern for you BMI mainline guys. But some of you need to find an ounce of tact and pinch of perspective when others within your group are faced with pretty much certain redundancy come April even if the deal does go through March 30th. I'd take the ba job bottom of the list anytime over my current situation. The number of times I've been next to a bunch of mainline guys loudly discussing their "woes" of seniority. Seriously, take your heads out your backsides and see what other people (your colleagues) are facing you tactless, short sighted eeeeediots.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 09:40
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Big Picture

I like most that I have come across in my short time in BA want to welcome the bmi pilot group with open arms! We are all colleagues at the end of the day and I know most of my friends in bmi see the 'Big Picture' and are just happy to have a job. I DON'T take the view that BA are doing bmi pilots 'a favour' by buying the company, IAG would not be doing so if bmi didn't bring real opportunities for BA to grow etc. I want to add my support for the bmi pilot group in these uncertain times and would hate to see any of them loose jobs.

However when it comes to seniority I made a choice to come to BA for more reasons than just the pay packet or to stay in the UK. I know several colleagues in bmi who have been to the BA selection and haven't been successful. Now I'm not suggesting that they are any better or worse than I am but why when I made a commitment to leave my seniority in my previous company should everyone from bmi jump ahead of me... Ultimately bmi is a 320 Short/Medium operator (with a couple of 330's knocking about Saudi), no jumbo's, no 777/787 or 380's, no bid line etc. So why are bmi pilots entitled to this when you don't have it in the first place. I should have this first as I was here first.

TUPE (quite rightly) protects your pay, position and T&C's you currently enjoy. This means the bmi Pilots are NOT disadvantaged by coming across to BA which I whole heartily agree with. But if the bmi Pilots go ahead of me I AM disadvantaged in the short/medium term, I find myself with 300 more or so above me blocking my chance to grow in my career that I chose and got selected to do. As full BA employees in the medium/long term you will get to enjoy all that BA has to offer but don't disadvantage guys and girls like myself in the process. That is only fair.

This post is not designed to upset or annoy anybody but purely to voice my position. Please don't bite my head off, I'm sure many from bmi will read my post and disagree but you have to look at this from all angles and see everyone's position. I really hope this gets sorted quickly and amicably, I want us all to be united as one and not spilt. I echo again whats been said on here already that the bmi Pilots should visit the BALPA forums, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much support you have from the BA community. I wish you all the best for the future, from one colleague to another.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 10:08
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In the event that this whole thing clears the regulator, IAG has agreed to purchase bmi by means of a share sale. At this point an agreement has been reached between BA and her pilots to integrate rather than face the prospect of ba light. In order for this to be achieved BA and bmi need to be merged together. After which the law kicks in in regards to the merging/integration of workforces covered mostly by tupe and various other relevant employment law statutes and case law precident. A lot of the options being offered up would be seen as being highly prejudicial towards the bmi workforce. This will lead to legal challenges as there is "nothing to lose" by not doing it. Tupe is a minimum that can be achieved any other variation must be done with mutual consent between employer and employee/elected representative. Some of the proposed integration scenarios as set out on the rumour mill and being aggressively pushed forward are not necasarrily compatable with tupe protections and current governing law.
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Old 25th Mar 2012, 10:27
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Tp320777
I know of no Bmi pilot who wants to disadvantage any BA pilot; they would just like the opportunity to share in the expansion should it happen. If the TUPE option is taken they would be ring fenced for the rest of their careers & unable to do so; if not the financial penalty for many would be untenable.
Head firmly out of my arse, I am merely commenting on the particular aspect of this topic under discussion at the moment. I hope that does not offend any colleagues from bmir.

Last edited by skip.rat; 25th Mar 2012 at 11:45.
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