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Pilots strike talks break down. [2008 thread]

Pilots strike talks break down. [2008 thread]

Old Mar 7, 08, 1:53 pm
  #1  
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Pilots strike talks break down. [2008 thread]

Breakdown of Talks

British Airways and BALPA have been engaged in talks led by ACAS aimed at resolving the dispute concerning Schedule K which resulted in 86% of pilots supporting strike action. These talks have broken down.

Despite BALPA’s willingness to accept the cost base proposed by BA for OpenSkies and to meet any additional costs that would arise from providing OpenSkies pilots with access to mainline, BA was not prepared to provide the employment security and career development opportunities which are at the heart of the dispute.

BALPA said it would consider its position in the light of BA’s stated intention to seek a High Court injunction preventing BA Pilots from taking strike action on the issue of Schedule K.
Not what anyone wanted to hear. Looks like the ACAS talks were the timewasting tactic some of my colleagues imagined all along.

First date possible is now next fri but more likely sat at this stage of the evening.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 2:07 pm
  #2  
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For your reference, earlier discussion relating to this dispute can be accessed here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=781657
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Old Mar 7, 08, 2:25 pm
  #3  
27R
 
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Thank you for taking the time to update us, Jumbodriver. I've no doubt this will be a difficult time for flight deck crew and passengers alike.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 2:25 pm
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In answer to the question on the old thread about the Injunction

Goodness knows what it means, ask me one about planes

In response to the breakdown of the conciliation talks, BA have indicated they will seek injunctive relief through the High Court due to their belief that their rights under Article 43 of the Treaty of Rome have been fettered.

They have not challenged the validity of the ballot process.

The BACC were fully expecting BA to use every available tactic to frustrate our members right to take part in lawful strike action.

BALPA's lawyers were on hand and require some time to consider the specifics of BA's claim, and will be working over the weekend to provide the BACC with specific legal advice.

The BACC will be meeting on Monday 10th March to consider this matter.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 2:28 pm
  #5  
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Hi,

Thanks for posting this Jumbodriver.

Second thought: Oh carp!!

I am due to fly EDI-LHR next Friday then

LHR-AUH on Sunday ( then a few AUH-MCT runs on Mon/Tue/Wed 16/17/18/19) before coming back on the 24th.) ( The LHR-AUH-LHR is non refundable).
If the strike goes ahead it could affect at least some of the flights.

Let's hope the matter is resolved before the strike commences.

Regards

TBS
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Old Mar 7, 08, 2:42 pm
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Well im assuming nothing is going to get called until monday, so your first bits are safe, but your mileage runs might be in trouble! You'll just have to stay in the hotel bar.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 3:10 pm
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BA Statement:

http://bapress.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/...=&p_faqid=7426

Originally Posted by BA
We are disappointed that BALPA has chosen to walk away from the talks led by the conciliation service, ACAS. We believe the opportunity remains to reach a peaceful resolution and lift the threat of strikes from our customers.

During the talks we made a number of offers to BALPA that we still believe could resolve the differences between us. We are proud of the professionalism and high reputation of our pilots. We do not want a conflict with them and have not sought one.

We have offered binding assurances that OpenSkies will pose no threat to the terms, conditions and job security of British Airways pilots. Prospects for BA flight crew have never been better. Our plans for expansion at Heathrow and Gatwick mean we will be recruiting more than 300 new BA pilots in the next two years, as the London-based fleet grows to more than 240 aircraft.

Our offer also included making available to BA pilots 50 per cent of flight crew vacancies for the six aircraft currently planned to go into the new airline, while protecting job security and career progression in BA.

OpenSkies is a new airline in a highly competitive market from Continental Europe to the US, and the terms and conditions for its staff must reflect that. BALPA says that terms and conditions for OpenSkies pilots must match those at BA as soon as the airline becomes profitable. This would generate cost and complexity that the new carrier could not sustain. OpenSkies would not be viable - restricting our ability as a company to compete by setting up a European business and putting at risk the creation of 350 new jobs.

We felt it right and fair to give BALPA private notice that we have a valid legal claim against them before they took the disproportionate step of calling a strike. If strike dates are issued, we will act to protect our customers by applying for an injunction.

We must act to protect our customers and explore every option to prevent the massive disruption a strike would cause.

We have made ourselves available to talk with BALPA at any time in order to find a peaceful solution.

Ends
March 07, 2008
031/AP/08
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Old Mar 7, 08, 3:30 pm
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Ouch. OK, as I'm indeed flying BA in the upcoming weeks, I'm afraid I will have to ask a few newbie questions: as an Italian, I have no clue on how do strikes work in the UK. We are used to short strikes (like 4 hours or so, with a day as the usual maximum), nothing comparable to, say, US writer's guild strike which lasted three months. I'm not sure about the UK

What's likely to happen, worst case? Will the strike likely last for a day, a week, a month? Stuff like every other day for a fortnight or just a continous period of work abstention? What about reimbursements, will BA find seats on other airlines, ask to reschedule or just return money and miles with no question asked? And what might happen in my weird case, where my next PNR is Mon 10th LIN-LHR, then 14 days layover in London, then LHR-SFO on the 24th, then SFO-LHR-LIN on the 26th, assuming a strike, say on the 24th?

Puzzled and confused...
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Old Mar 7, 08, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Jumbodriver View Post
Well im assuming nothing is going to get called until monday, so your first bits are safe, but your mileage runs might be in trouble! You'll just have to stay in the hotel bar.
Hi,

Lol!

Thanks Jumbodriver- the bar does sound good ( and I need the sunshine badly!)

Regards

TBS
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Old Mar 7, 08, 3:40 pm
  #10  
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I'm not an EU lawyer but this (which I found through Google):

http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas...vikingcase.htm

may give some idea of what BA's challenge under article 43 may be.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 4:05 pm
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I think BA should walk away from OpenSkies

The low risk they orginally touted is turning into yet another major PR disaster and i think they will only emerge weaker and more vulnerable after this strike.

The nixing of OpenSkies won't do them many favours either and will deny them expansion opportunities, but it's probably the the least bad option.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 4:16 pm
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The idea that openskies becomes unviable due to the alleged increased costs of the 2 drivers (when balpa will match costs anyway) is patent rubbish. If its not viable then investors need to ask serious questions about whether this is a wise diversion. They cannot have it both ways.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 4:21 pm
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If they win the injunction it wont stop a strike in the long term anyway. In the short term expect massive disruption as we lose the will to help out the chaos that is BA.
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Old Mar 7, 08, 4:53 pm
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We're unfortunate enough to have booked flights with BA to fly to Grenada on 25th March for our wedding (29th March)
We've been watching the forums over the last few weeks for info on the pilots strikes and now our nightmare seems to have come true!
Does anyone know when the strike dates will be announced - Monday?
How long are the delays likely to effect flights on the following days after a strike date?
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Old Mar 7, 08, 5:01 pm
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Hopefully monday. It would have been today but for BAs delaying tactic of legal action which BALPAs lawyers are going over. I really dont know what tactics are planned at this stage, and I'm downroute on monday so hopefully someone else will post.

Disruption wise it depends how Willy plays it, usual technique is that any aircraft that arrives downroute will be flown back to base even on a strike day, that way aircraft and crews are in correct location for a quick restart. If however WW does macho and locks us out then we'll all be chucked out of the hotels, most of us will jumpseat home on other carriers, and the aircraft will be stranded down route uncrewed, in which case it will take up to a week to get people in the right place.
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