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BA ground staff at LHR: Summer '22 strike threat suspended after deal agreed

BA ground staff at LHR: Summer '22 strike threat suspended after deal agreed

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Old Jul 8, 22, 5:28 pm   -   Wikipost
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LATEST UPDATE: 7 July 2022

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: 7 July/2022, no strike dates have been provided and an agreement in principle has been reached with the Unions. Two weeks notice must be provided by the unions. This means there will be no strikes before 21 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, for example to facilitate a ballot of the agreement. So that suggests there won't be a strike in July and there may well be no strikes at all for this employment group.

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 23, 22, 2:55 pm
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner View Post
Just a question out of interest: why would workers NOT strike? What's the point of the vote? Who wouldn't want paid leave for x amount of days without the risk of being fired?
I don't understand the question? Are you under the impression workers are paid by their employer while striking?

​​​​​​They are not.

A strike (which in this case I support) is a legal right in most cases, but it does not mean strikers will be paid. It will almost certainly constitute a breach of employment contract meaning the employer will withhold salary.

If you mean something else, could you expand?
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Old Jun 23, 22, 2:58 pm
  #122  
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Originally Posted by lcylocal View Post
I thought duty of care always applied? And that 14 days only applies to compensation.
Yes duty of care and entitlement to refund or rebooking always apply regardless of reason for the cancellation and regardless of notice given.

The 14 days only relates to whether compensation may be due.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 3:04 pm
  #123  
 
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Originally Posted by BertieBadger View Post
I don't understand the question? Are you under the impression workers are paid by their employer while striking?

​​​​​​They are not.

A strike (which in this case I support) is a legal right in most cases, but it does not mean strikers will be paid. It will almost certainly constitute a breach of employment contract meaning the employer will withhold salary.

If you mean something else, could you expand?
I did think they were paid during the strike. If not what's the point of the unions and "legal" strike? Realistically, BA can't afford the strike and therefore anyone who was to "illegally" strike would not be scared of being fired. BA just can't afford it. Similar to the current rail strike. Legal or not they just can't afford to lay off 40,000 workers. Same as BA albeit on a smaller scale. So what's the difference legal or illegal strike?
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Old Jun 23, 22, 3:07 pm
  #124  
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner View Post
I did think they were paid during the strike. If not what's the point of the unions and "legal" strike? Realistically, BA can't afford the strike and therefore anyone who was to "illegally" strike would not be scared of being fired. BA just can't afford it. Similar to the current rail strike. Legal or not they just can't afford to lay off 40,000 workers. Same as BA albeit on a smaller scale. So what's the difference legal or illegal strike?
The employer can sue the union if a strike is not done according to the law.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 3:10 pm
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
The employer can sue the union if a strike is not done according to the law.
My question was more to the point of what's the point of a union. If BA staff were to walk out, without the backing of the Union, in an illegal strike BA simply cannot afford to fire them. Or is the union more for administrative/organisational reasons?
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Old Jun 23, 22, 3:12 pm
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner View Post
I did think they were paid during the strike. If not what's the point of the unions and "legal" strike? Realistically, BA can't afford the strike and therefore anyone who was to "illegally" strike would not be scared of being fired. BA just can't afford it. Similar to the current rail strike. Legal or not they just can't afford to lay off 40,000 workers. Same as BA albeit on a smaller scale. So what's the difference legal or illegal strike?
Strikers are not paid. For full clarity, unions may offer "hardship funds" from their own funds, when the lack of salary causes particular hardship to an individual who is striking, but this will typically be a bare minimum.

I'm not an expert (corrections welcome), but essentially a legal strike is one which is called in accordance with the laws, in terms of notice, voting numbers and majority etc. Employers may not, as I understand it, take retribution against such strikes.

An illegal strike would offer the strikers no such protection.

Can BA 'win' this strike? Personally I doubt it, with their reputation battered in the press, they can ill afford more loss of customer confidence.

To try to answer your follow up question, the advantage of the Union is to enable a strike within the law, and the protections that offers
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Old Jun 23, 22, 3:13 pm
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner View Post
My question was more to the point of what's the point of a union. If BA staff were to walk out, without the backing of the Union, in an illegal strike BA simply cannot afford to fire them. Or is the union more for administrative/organisational reasons?
If you as an employee walked out of your job you are liable to be disciplined and fired. If you think an employer won't take action I think you are somewhat nave.

Anyway, no one is proposing to walk out unless in a properly organised strike so it's somewhat hypothetical.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 4:12 pm
  #128  
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Have BA already completely Culled reward flights for July. Absolutely nothing at all from BHD to LHR for all of July but availability every day in August
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Old Jun 23, 22, 4:26 pm
  #129  
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Originally Posted by GogLobster View Post
Seriously? This is a company taking the piss out of its workers. This is entirely the fault of the company.
Here the unions take the proverbial out of the employers. Believe me, the consequences are much worse.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 5:58 pm
  #130  
 
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
If you as an employee walked out of your job you are liable to be disciplined and fired. If you think an employer won't take action I think you are somewhat nave.

Anyway, no one is proposing to walk out unless in a properly organised strike so it's somewhat hypothetical.
Not sure you quite understood. If one person walks out, yes they'll be fired. I was talking about a large group of people. And legal or not I don't think they'll be fired because BA is so understaffed already they can't afford to fire any more. So I was just trying to clarify and understand that the main purpose of a union is the organisational aspect
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Old Jun 23, 22, 6:08 pm
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner View Post
Not sure you quite understood. If one person walks out, yes they'll be fired. I was talking about a large group of people. And legal or not I don't think they'll be fired because BA is so understaffed already they can't afford to fire any more. So I was just trying to clarify and understand that the main purpose of a union is the organisational aspect
A large group COULD be fired in your situation. The staffing levels are irrelevant.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 6:08 pm
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Jzlerner View Post
Not sure you quite understood. If one person walks out, yes they'll be fired. I was talking about a large group of people. And legal or not I don't think they'll be fired because BA is so understaffed already they can't afford to fire any more. So I was just trying to clarify and understand that the main purpose of a union is the organisational aspect
I do understand. You think an employer is going to take no action if a group of employees stages an illegal walk out?
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Old Jun 24, 22, 1:59 am
  #133  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
I do understand. You think an employer is going to take no action if a group of employees stages an illegal walk out?
He's got a point - say 80% of the workforce were to walk out (Not under the banner of a Union), I don't think BA are in a position to sack the lot of them. Not really sure what the point of this argument is though.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 2:07 am
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by JackDann View Post
He's got a point - say 80% of the workforce were to walk out (Not under the banner of a Union), I don't think BA are in a position to sack the lot of them. Not really sure what the point of this argument is though.
However they are going to be in a position to sack the people organising it. Which is a pretty strong incentive against trying to organise an unofficial walkout.
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Old Jun 24, 22, 2:08 am
  #135  
 
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I cannot remember the last time I wholeheartedly supported strike action (certainly not the bizarre UK rail strikes currently ongoing which don't even have concrete demands) and yet I fully support this strike going ahead. I don't see how BA management don't settle here, I imagine there will be quite a lot of sympathy for the striking staff from BA customers once they understand the full details and if BA management imagine they won't be personally blamed for the disruption they are even more utterly deluded than I thought.
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