Plea for help from BA Cabin Crew

Old Dec 9, 06, 3:27 am
  #1  
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Plea for help from BA Cabin Crew

British Airways Cabin Crew are set to vote overwhelmingly for strike action. This could take place anytime from the end of January through to the end of March but a strike is most likely to happen sometime in February.

British Airways Cabin Crew would like it to be known that they absolutely do not want to go on strike. As Cabin Crew, all we want to do is our very best to look after the travelling public, conveying each and every one of you as comfortably and as safely as we possibly can from A to B. Obviously there are occasions when circumstances conspire against us, both for you the public and us as your crew, but it is often these very circumstances when our passengers appreciate most that they are with a British Airways Cabin Crew. This is borne out by us constantly exceeding every customer service target British Airways have ever set for us and also the clutch of industry awards we win every year - including this year where thanks to our hard work and the votes of you our customers, we walked away with the Best Cabin Crew award.

However, things are not all rosy with the current management of British Airways. Historically, we have always had a proper business relationship with our management. As with any commercial environment or business scenario, there has to be an appropriate level of give and take on both sides in order for anything to work. However, our new management team have a lot of ‘new brooms’ and wish to make a lot of changes. They have approached these changes by refusing to speak to our representatives, declaring their intention to introduce the changes without discussion and openly stating that “we will walk right through you.”

These changes are both to our working agreements and to our employment contracts, including but not limited to cuts in pay, no pay increases at all after a certain time, cuts in promotion opportunities, less rest between flights, removal of working position choice and BA ignoring the wording of their own sickness policy when applying it to Cabin Crew. This certainly has health and safety implications.

These changes go beyond simply working harder in a changing commercial and security conscious environment. They will affect our lives outside work, our take home pay and most importantly our family life outside of work. They will also have a knock on effect to you, our passengers.

We are still trying to get our management to talk to us but they are telling us “we have nothing to talk about”. Unfortunately at the moment we are not seen as people - and we are just like every one of you, doing the best job we can to earn a living and go home to our families, we are seen as expendable staff numbers. And whilst on board, we see you going about your business, travelling to see friends or going on holiday with your families, our current management see you simply as pound signs in seats.

At the moment, a strike is the only way we have of standing up for ourselves and forcing our management to open proper discussions regarding our contracts and our future employment. This can all be avoided with the application of a reasonable attitude and a dose of common sense from British Airways management, but anyone who followed the recent ‘cross wearing’ debacle will know that those qualities seem to be more lacking, the higher up the British Airways management tree you climb.

Should a strike happen and should you be caught up in the chaos it will cause, British Airways Cabin Crew humbly and sincerely apologise to you and ask for your patience and understanding whilst we try to get our managers to speak to us(!)

If you have non-changeable travel plans with British Airways from January to March next year, you can write to our chief executive Willie Walsh at

British Airways plc
Waterside
PO Box 365
Harmondsworth
UB7 0GB

Or e-mail customer relations using this link:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...l/public/en_gb

Please urge him to treat his employees properly or simply provide him with your thoughts on British Airways current management style.

Thank you for your time

British Airways Cabin Crew
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Old Dec 10, 06, 7:18 am
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I'm surprised that this one hasn't had any reaction....
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Old Dec 10, 06, 7:29 am
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Originally Posted by Tits McGhee View Post
I'm surprised that this one hasn't had any reaction....
Well it just reminded me not to book with BA for my planned trips in Q1 07.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 7:40 am
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Seems like poor timing to me. I thought they always try to strike when they could cause the most damage to their employer, like August.

I am glad I sold my BA stock last week. Looks like there are lots of problems on the horizon.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by Kibison View Post
Seems like poor timing to me. I thought they always try to strike when they could cause the most damage to their employer, like August.
Don't forget half-term week in February - just as busy then.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by Dave_C View Post
Don't forget half-term week in February - just as busy then.
If the crew have any political sense (which I'm sure they do) they'll strike on a Monday and a Friday to hit the business travel. BA really couldn't give a s**t if they inconvenience a load of holidaymakers in half-term.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 8:04 am
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As someone who used to work in the NHS I am used to a particularly ruthless type of management and I can ssure you, you have my sympathies.

I also have family who were pilots for BA and I am certainly aware that the way staff are treated has changed dramatically over the last few years.

I am sorry you guys are having problems and understand that a strike may be necessary so good luck to you all and for what it's worth, you have my support - I've been there.

I must say I am surprised by the lack of comments on this one and I hope that the members of the flyer talk board will offer their support...
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Old Dec 10, 06, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by Dave_C View Post
Don't forget half-term week in February - just as busy then.
When does that happen?

I have a flight to SOF in mid February that leaves at 8:35am. I was planning on being at LHR at 5:30am hoping to avoid the awful crowds I have been reading about.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 8:17 am
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Hi,

I think to be honest, as I understand from the OP , the vote is still to go ahead and a date to be fixed ( although it is likely to be in February) although there could be more negotiations to come

I'm sure there will be more comments once a strike date is out and after we get away from the Christmas/New Year period.

Regards and Good luck

TBS
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Old Dec 10, 06, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by Tits McGhee View Post
I'm surprised that this one hasn't had any reaction....

Its a nice essay and I accept the the issues outlined are real. Nevertheless, the gun the union is holding is being held to the passenger's heads in the hope that the bullet will pass through our bodies and hit management. This letter contemplates that but an appology does fix all problems. For that reason my sympathy is restrained.

Good luck and best wishes.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 9:22 am
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Do people who strike ever actually make up for lost wages and benefits?
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Old Dec 10, 06, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by Kibison View Post
When does that happen?

I have a flight to SOF in mid February that leaves at 8:35am. I was planning on being at LHR at 5:30am hoping to avoid the awful crowds I have been reading about.
It's the 12th to the 16th of February.

As to the actual topic, my feelings are with the crew. They have to put up with a lot, and not just from management. They are probably the most customer focused people in the whole of BA, and unlike the ground crew, don't go out on strike at the drop of a hat. They would only strike for good reason.

Good luck to all the crew, I hope you can make a stand against the death by a thousand cuts, that BA management's policies' have brought about in the product over the past few years. As well as, more importantly for you, your terms and conditions, including a half decent pension.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 9:55 am
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Without seeing both sides of the argument (and there always are at least two), with the emotion stripped out and the cold hard facts on display it really is rather difficult to profer an opinion.
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Old Dec 10, 06, 11:51 am
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The BA cabin crew are absolutely fabulous. That said, strikes generally have a continued impact on revenue and reputation long after they are over. Combined with things like Gate Gourmet and the always draconian luggage restrictions - be it the one carry on or the checked baggage restrictions on weight (these last not limited to BA but obviously of greater impact to BA that other airlines), BA could certainly do without another "incident" that ticks off their best customers.

Hopefully this will get sorted out before a strike. Is there a chance for a settlement?
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Old Dec 10, 06, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by Swanhunter View Post
Without seeing both sides of the argument (and there always are at least two), with the emotion stripped out and the cold hard facts on display it really is rather difficult to profer an opinion.
Quite. For example, "removal of working position choice" suggests to me that BA could be requiring cabin crew to provide demonstrably good levels of service in premium cabins, and removing a seniority as the choice preference. If this meant that old, bitter cabin crew who just sit in the galley all the time were prevented from serving in F&J, then I'd be all for that proposal. However, I accept that it could mean something else entirely - so how can I be up in arms about it?

I can't go writing complaint letters for issues I know nothing about ... "Dear WW, I read on the Internet from posters I've never met that ..... and I strenuously object that .....". Hmmm.

I'm not trying to say that there aren't real issues, I'm sure there are. And I hope that they get resolved to the satisfaction of the majority.

BTW, I don't care if I can't get back to the UK at the end of half-term () but I'm afraid no-one will have any sympathy from me at all if the 1.5 weeks before HT are affected. Mess up my business travel; not a big deal. Mess up my leisure travel and that will p155 me right off.
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