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Strike ballot called: here we go [General discussion of BA industrial relations]

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Old Oct 26, 09, 6:43 am
  #1
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Strike ballot called: here we go [General discussion of BA industrial relations]

Might be worth a new thread to highlight risk for those considering a new BA booking.....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8325917.stm
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Old Oct 26, 09, 7:42 am
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I guess one benefit of the ongoing postal dispute will be that the BA strike ballot will take longer than normal!

But on a more serious note, if the vote is yes, then I really don't see a rosy future for BA. I really don't see what the cabin crew will gain here. The only outcome will be negative on all sides (crew, company and customer). They may be able to negotiate some sort of short-term improved package, but if BA loses any bookings over the the Christmas period as a result of this I would foresee that the number of job losses will increase significantly.

I'm about as loyal a customer as BA could wish for, but I'm already starting to make other plans for my December business travel.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 8:24 am
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Is this a crystal ball question... but is there a way of finding out when the strike would be IF it happened?

Or is that also in the ballot?
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Old Oct 26, 09, 8:30 am
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A strike over Christmas would undoubtedly be a PR disaster for BA. However I doubt that it would be the end, or even the beginning of the end...
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Old Oct 26, 09, 9:12 am
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You wonder if the unions waited to release this the day after it was announced the planned IB/AA merger was under intensified scrutiny?

Is their main goal to destroy BA?

Ah wait, they are unions... lets protect the individual at any price, even if it means all of his/hers colleagues might be out of a job eventually.

Lets hope they show some common sense and don't schedule the strike for December and the holidays.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Is their main goal to destroy BA?
Or destroy themselves?
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Old Oct 26, 09, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Is their main goal to destroy BA?

Ah wait, they are unions... lets protect the individual at any price, even if it means all of his/hers colleagues might be out of a job eventually.
I doubt that their aim is to destroy BA ...why would they want to do that?

The role of the union is to deal with a company collectively . It will be for that unions members to decide whether industrial action is the right / only action to take.
I think it often gets forgotten, that when a person goes on strike they lose money , hence it really is the last thing that they want to do.

I'd suggest that many on here earn far more than the average BA employee , so in that scenario probably don't understand the fuss over a few thousand pounds.
When you've got to pay the bills that can be enough to send someone under financially.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by traveller5 View Post
Seeing some of the CE and Club World, not to mention economy cuts recently, I think Mr Walsh and his team have become greedy. They are imposing a low cost service on board, but still want the same fares.

Please take away that bird seed offering on short flights and bring down the actual fare. If I pay a premium in Club Europe, offer me the FULL service!
There is a school of thought which says that if you run an airline you have 3 sets of costs. Your fuel costs which you cannot really do much about beyond hedging. Your staff costs and your consumable costs.

If you are haemorrhaging money because customer numbers are down then you need to cut costs to match. If you are unable to cut crew costs what else can you do? Well maybe you can remove shorthaul catering and give birdseed instead. The cabin crew may well strike in their own financial interests (and whilst i feel they are wrong, they have every right to do so). I suspect they will not however be striking to restore your lunch to its former "glory".
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Old Oct 26, 09, 9:50 am
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There is a thread on another PPlace where this is being discussed at length....
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Old Oct 26, 09, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by bermyandy View Post
Is this a crystal ball question... but is there a way of finding out when the strike would be IF it happened?

Or is that also in the ballot?
UK law relating to industrial dispute means that the company must be given a certain amount of notice of industrial action.

What that basically means is that although we can't say when the strike is likely to be, we can say when it definitely won't be, given that amount of notice. From memory (and it is a while since I had to look this up for the last strike), it's about a week for a ballot, a week to hold the ballot. The result is then declared (and presuming the ballot is in favour of industrial action), the union must give notice of intent to hold industrial action - but in reality expect another round of negotiations in the event of a yes vote. You therefore wouldn't expect any action within about a month of announcement of a ballot - which brings us neatly into December. I do have to wonder if crew would want to face a pay packet cut at Christmas though as a result of strike action...

There is also a period within which industrial action must be taken after a ballot, or a re-ballot is required. I can't recall what that is off the top of my head.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
You wonder if the unions waited to release this the day after it was announced the planned IB/AA merger was under intensified scrutiny?

Is their main goal to destroy BA?

Ah wait, they are unions... lets protect the individual at any price, even if it means all of his/hers colleagues might be out of a job eventually.

Lets hope they show some common sense and don't schedule the strike for December and the holidays.
Unions make me angry; why are they so stupid as to look to strike when their company, and the economy, are both in a fragile state? All I care about is my own travel plans and possible disruption. I don't care about BA or their staff in respect of what they do - only if it affects me personally and my plans.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
From memory (and it is a while since I had to look this up for the last strike), it's about a week for a ballot, a week to hold the ballot.
I recall in another thread that someone pointed out that for BA the ballot period needs to be much longer. Some crew could be on a 10 day trip to SYD, so an allowance needs to be made to ensure they have the opportunity to vote, which means the ballot period may need to be nearer 3 weeks.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 10:23 am
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From today's Times: "A spokesman for BA said: 'We have put together a package of changes, which despite the unprecedented financial circumstances facing the company, not only protects current cabin crew but also offers many new benefits.'"

Does it sound like WW is trying to "enhance" the cabin crew?
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Old Oct 26, 09, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Lets hope they show some common sense and don't schedule the strike for December and the holidays.
Whilst it would obviously have the most impact disruption wise, I think it would be a MASSIVE PR own goal if they did strike over this period, I really don't think they would get much sympathy from passengers unable to travel to be with their families over the period (including my wife!).

From BA's point of view I imagine they would perhaps prefer Xmas as this will affect regular business travellers less, although the massive PR issue may well negate this.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Is their main goal to destroy BA?
Reading some of the stuff that they put out, it would not surprise me if that was an aim close to the heart of some of the union leadership. "There will be no war, but there will be such a struggle for peace that no stone will be left standing."
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