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BA ground staff at LHR: potential strike action, July 2022

BA ground staff at LHR: potential strike action, July 2022

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Old Jul 1, 22, 7:34 pm   -   Wikipost
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British Airway's employed ground staff, based mainly at LHR. have voted in favour of strike action in respect of a dispute relating to pay and conditions. This strike ballot is valid for 6 months, and allows the unions to nominate strike dates, provided the employer has 2 weeks notice of the strike. The general tendency in the UK is for relatively short strike dates, typically a day or two, but several of them separate by several days.

Updated: 2/July/2022, no strike dates have been provided - 2 weeks notice must be provided by the unions. This means there will be no strikes before 17 July 2022. However though the ballot is valid 6 months, the first strike needs to be within 4 weeks, which is 23 July 2022. This can extended by a further 4 weeks if the employer agrees. So that suggests the first strike date could be between 17 and 22 July, but probably towards the back end of that timeframe. Negotiations will almost certainly be going on to avert the strike.

Those involved in this strike are check-in staff, baggage handlers, lounge staff, gate agents, some turnaround managers, and related airport staff. Cabin and flight crew are not in this dispute. LGW and LCY flights are not in this dispute. Contract ground agents - at LHR and out stations - are also not involved. Some roles can be performed by management, but it is unlikely that core activties at LHR Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 can avoid significant disruption. If flights are disrupted by strkes then usually BA allows people to move their flights to alternative dates and other arrangements (e.g. rebooking on AA). There is a separate dispute being worked through involving call centre staff and engineers, but there is no ballot at this point, so any strike is some way off.
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Old Jun 2, 22, 9:29 am
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BA ground staff at LHR: potential strike action, July 2022

I feel so sure there must be (??) an existing thread, which I have failed to find, that I hereby apologise in advance !

This seemingly-reliable specialist site is reporting on a ballot process for industrial action by LHR check-in staff, on the specific issue of reversal of previous pandemic-related pay cuts but for management only, whilst leaving cuts to pay of Union members still in place.

Does not augur well for upcoming summer season travel out of LHR.


https://www.aerotime.aero/articles/31163-british-unions-ballot-heathrow-staff-over-strike
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Old Jun 2, 22, 10:09 am
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I’d be highly surprised if BA didn’t back down for this and agree something with the unions. Like how BA had an “upper hand” against unions during 2020 with the so-called “fire and rehire” redundancy consultations, at this point in time BA are almost completely at the mercy of unions. If a strike were to go ahead it would be absolutely disastrous financially for BA just as it predicts returning to profitability by next quarter! If a strike does go ahead, then that would probably curtains for Doyle too in the process.
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Old Jun 2, 22, 10:29 am
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Best of luck to all BA staff.

Like many here, if strike does go ahead and we get disrupted, I will place the blame at the feet of BA, NOT the striking workers
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Old Jun 7, 22, 2:56 pm
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BA summer strike

Not intending to open a debate as to whether strike action is justified but is there any logic as to when the strike might actually take place based on historical precedent - i.e. is there a set notice period following 27 June or some other protocol / negotiation period that must be adhered to after the ballot closes? Or could the strike happen literally at any time following 27 June, and for any number of days?

The messaging below is very ominous. Just in the process of booking numerous back-up flights in the final hours of BwC as there is a personal event in mainland Europe that I cannot miss...

The industrial action ballot, which covers around 500 staff, will open on Tuesday 7 June and close on Monday 27 June. Should workers vote in favour of industrial action, strikes are expected to occur in July when demands for flights are expected to be high.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by eh220160 View Post
Not intending to open a debate as to whether strike action is justified but is there any logic as to when the strike might actually take place based on historical precedent - i.e. is there a set notice period following 27 June or some other protocol / negotiation period that must be adhered to after the ballot closes? Or could the strike happen literally at any time following 27 June, and for any number of days?

The messaging below is very ominous. Just in the process of booking numerous back-up flights in the final hours of BwC as there is a personal event in mainland Europe that I cannot miss...

The industrial action ballot, which covers around 500 staff, will open on Tuesday 7 June and close on Monday 27 June. Should workers vote in favour of industrial action, strikes are expected to occur in July when demands for flights are expected to be high.
14 days notice to strike unless both parties agree to allow 7 days (why they would allow only 7 days notice I don't know but DVSA and the Unions allowed that last year). So if the result is announced on the 27th June, then strike action could be any time from 11th July onwards.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:43 pm
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Also see:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...tion-july.html
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:26 pm
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Hopefully sanity will prevail, and it needs to be soon - a strike (or even the uncertainty caused by its threat) after the recent airport & rescheduling chaos would IMHO have catastrophic effects on BA's tiny residual customer goodwill.

Does anyone remember what BA did to re-accommodate in past strikes? Presumably nothing could move out of LHR or other BA staffed airports. I seem to recall a fleet of wet-leased Qatar short haul aircraft being brought in, but that couldn't happen at T5 without check-in. Also, with the QR/Airbus battle I can't imagine they'd have much capacity this time around.

On the long haul side, the QR move back to T4 is timely as it will give them an operation independent from BA resources. I guess they could simply accelerate what seems anyway to be an ongoing long-term transfer of BA's Eastbound long-haul business to QR - my concern again is that the latter (or for that matter, anyone else) simply won't have spare capacity in the July peak.

Last edited by Bullswood; Jun 7, 22 at 6:52 pm
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:53 pm
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Originally Posted by eh220160 View Post
Just in the process of booking numerous back-up flights in the final hours of BwC as there is a personal event in mainland Europe that I cannot miss....
Likewise - I have to travel from/to Oz and I"m sure there won't be any last minute options so best to double-up now!
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:54 pm
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I don't know if it is linked, but BA staff that are members of the GMB Union have also been balloted over strike action:

"Hundreds of GMB members working as Heathrow check in and ground staff begin voting on strike action today.
"The ballot ends on 23 June with the result expected the same day."


https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/hundreds...-strike-ballot
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Bullswood View Post
my concern is again that the latter (or for that matter, anyone else) won't have spare capacity in the July peak.
I'm sure this will have been factored in to the proposal by the Unions to strike on dates which will impact/affect the airline as much as possible. If it were simply a case of being able to offer a contingency and of no significant impact to the operation it's not really going to amount to much or be taken seriously by the airline. It's designed to be somewhat strategic in order to make the airline stop and think about whats at stake.
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Old Jun 8, 22, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
I'm sure this will have been factored in to the proposal by the Unions to strike on dates which will impact/affect the airline as much as possible. If it were simply a case of being able to offer a contingency and of no significant impact to the operation it's not really going to amount to much or be taken seriously by the airline. It's designed to be somewhat strategic in order to make the airline stop and think about whats at stake.
I have already had an email that a flight at the start of July is being operated by a Iberia crew and plane so i am hoping this doesnt get given to someone else.
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Old Jun 8, 22, 3:32 am
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Originally Posted by MiraculousM View Post
I have already had an email that a flight at the start of July is being operated by a Iberia crew and plane so i am hoping this doesnt get given to someone else.
Not sure I follow?

BA have arranged for Iberia to fly certain routes for them (wet lease) due to capacity issues
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Old Jun 8, 22, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by PGberkshire View Post
Not sure I follow?

BA have arranged for Iberia to fly certain routes for them (wet lease) due to capacity issues
Its a BCN - LHR flight that has already been wet leased but not all flights on that day have been wet leased and its only this one. Could BA go "we are going to use the wet leased jet/crew for another flight" and just cancel mine?
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Old Jun 8, 22, 3:51 am
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Originally Posted by MiraculousM View Post
Its a BCN - LHR flight that has already been wet leased but not all flights on that day have been wet leased and its only this one. Could BA go "we are going to use the wet leased jet/crew for another flight" and just cancel mine?
Yes potentially
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Old Jun 8, 22, 3:52 am
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Originally Posted by MiraculousM View Post
Its a BCN - LHR flight that has already been wet leased but not all flights on that day have been wet leased and its only this one. Could BA go "we are going to use the wet leased jet/crew for another flight" and just cancel mine?
BA did this for my flight to Malta; they cancelled one BA flight number but moved me to an I2 operated flight on a BA flight number.

Does it matter? I2/IB short haul product is no different to BA's.
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