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BASSA: How Long Can They Keep This Up?  
User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2821 posts, RR: 10
Posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5962 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10382434.stm

Quote:
Unite said that it was giving BA until 29 June to "demonstrate that it is willing to negotiate a solution to the fresh issues between the parties - or will ballot its members for strike action".

It said the new issues under dispute were threefold: BA's use of other employees to cover as cabin crew; the removal of travel perks from crew who went on strike; and "vindictive, disproportionate and unnecessary disciplinary action" taken by BA against some of its crew members.

Surely BASSA must realise they can't win. With every strike threat, they lose members, more members cross the pickett line and more staff from elsewhere in the airline get the resolve to break the strike.

When will it end?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1633 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5858 times:

In a sense they have already admintted defeat, by exluding most of the LGW cabin crew from the next ballot.

BASSA cannot seem to realise that every other department in BA (including other Unite represented employees) do not support them, and will step in to minimise the affect of these strikes. This includes pilots, ground staff, engineering, UK based staff and foreign staff.

BA are aiming to fly 100% of longhaul during next strike.... so, in affect,... it is over.

In the meanitme BA yesterday introduced the new "Mixed Fleet", which will, over time, deliver the cost savings BA require. BASSA have declined to even negotiate on this new fleet, so have sidelined themselves, and the members they claim to represent, of any bargaining power on the new mixed fleet, where they operate, how they operate, T&C's and how it will affect existing cabin crew.

I still find it difficult to understand why some of the crew align themsleves to this union, as they are failing considerably in representing thier interests.


User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2821 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5746 times:

Yes, it's clear they've lost, but I guess the question should more be how long can this facade go on? Even if ineffectual, will BASSA continue to stage strikes until the End of Days? At this point, Willie Walsh has no reason to capitulate, which will mean BASSA will have to meet him rather than the other way round.

User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5667 times:

So basically, BA and BASSA have agreed terms on the reasons for the 1st strike, but BASSA still aren't happy because of the measures BA took to keep flying during said strike? This is beyond ridiculous, and makes BASSA seem like a bunch of vengeful playground yobs.

User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5630 times:

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 1):
BASSA cannot seem to realise that every other department in BA (including other Unite represented employees) do not support them, and will step in to minimise the affect of these strikes. This includes pilots, ground staff, engineering, UK based staff and foreign staff.
Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 3):
but BASSA still aren't happy because of the measures BA took to keep flying during said strike?

BASSA have to understand something, BA offered any staff that wanted it the chance to help keep the airline flying, and these people, within the airline, ""volunteered"" for it. No one forced them, no one MADE them do something they did not want to.


User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5537 times:

BASSA have to ballot on a fresh set of issues (however spurious) because the 12 week protection period for cabin crew against being wrongfully dismissed for taking part in strike action has now expired and the company could now sack cabin crew for taking part in any further strike action under the last ballot.

I doubt BASSA will ever concede defeat or come back to the negotiating table with its tail between its legs. Meanwhile, as evidenced by the start of recruitment on New Fleet, will just carry on without them.


User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1633 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5284 times:

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 5):
BASSA have to ballot on a fresh set of issues (however spurious) because the 12 week protection period for cabin crew against being wrongfully dismissed for taking part in strike action has now expired

Its very doubtful IMHO that the new ballot will give the members continued protection, as some of the points being ballotted have been a part of the negotiations since xmas, and have been documented as such.

The union are trying to get around the law by trying to pretend the next srtike is about something new, and will, I thnk, leave any strikers going forward very exposed.

it will, I think, all be over quite soon.....


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7816 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5083 times:

Surely unless they ballot all members, the result will be worthless.

User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5022 times:

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 7):
Surely unless they ballot all members, the result will be worthless.

So many members have left the union in disgust at the strikes, I think the result will be worthless anyway lol!


User currently offlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2531 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5005 times:

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 8):
So many members have left the union in disgust at the strikes, I think the result will be worthless anyway lol!

I am not sure about that. I think the result will be for a strike but members will chose to cross the picket line.



Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4981 times:

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 9):
I am not sure about that. I think the result will be for a strike but members will chose to cross the picket line.

I'm sure the result will be in favour of a strike, as hardcore militants remain in the union while many more moderate members have left. I was replying to Bennett123 who states that as Unite want to exclude LGW crew, the result would be worthless. I was saying that the union now represents such a reduced number of crew as to render the result worthless no matter what. BA say they want to run 100% of long haul flights in the event of another strike. Goes to show how many people are now willing to cross picket lines.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4948 times:

Ok, I am confused now.... Whats the difference between UNITE and BASSA? I thought they were the same union. But now I feel like I am wrong here.


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4924 times:

UNITE is the overall union, which represents some 2 million people. BASSA is a branch of UNITE which represents BA cabin crew. Or, at least, some of the BA cabin crew :-p

User currently offlinemtbga From Canada, joined Dec 2009, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4436 times:

In My Humble Opinion.....this union (or unions cause it is confusing to see which union is running the show) is simply trying to validate it's own existence rather than truly represent the cabin crew. In fact I believe that your average cabin crew member is being taken advantage of (now not including the Gatwick crew truly illustrates my point).

Clearly agreement was reached at some point but it seems the union (s) keeps trying to find some reason to continue stirring up trouble. I would hasten to add that as an outside unbiased observer it really looks like the union is not bargaining in good faith. Clearly the case when they keep changing the reasons for a strike (crew compliments, travel perks, other BA workers staffing flights). Makes you wonder what comes next....wrong fabric for the uniform?

The world has changed and the airline and crew have to change with it. The competition is fierce. Every time I think of this strike I am reminded of how Britain truly ruled the world but slowly faded to a pale shadow of itself both in the world and I am beginning to think Europe itself. Same thing is slowly happening to BA (but not to late to turn things around). I had a graphical representation of this the other day when a mini bus pulled up to a downtown hotel with BA crew overnighting at the same time as a proper motor coach arrived with an Emirates A380 crew. Symbolic in my opinion.

Anyway....some interesting questions;

1) I wonder how many crew are voting to strike but still showing up for work? Frankly, I think quite a lot.

2) If the working conditions that are currently being "imposed" were present when a current cabin crew member was first recruited, would they have turned down the offer and gone to look for a different job?

3) If working conditions are so harsh as a BA cabin crew member, why don't those who don't like it move over to EasyJet or Ryanair or Virgin or BMI? In fact why not a completely different employer?

4) What are the chances of some of the sensible cabin crew members standing up and speaking loudly for what they do have.....a pretty good employer and a pretty good job? Seems to me it is time that people stood up against the militant crew.

Obviously, no insult is intend to any BA crew who reads this. I always enjoy flying BA--the crew do a great job (most times but everyone does have a bad day).

For those who support the strike...that is your right. I would just be a bit careful about what the union is dragging you through. Honestly I really don't think it is for the benefit of the cabin crew. Also, you should not be angered at fellow BA employees who have been staffing flights. By keeping the airline flying they have ensured you have a job to come back to.


User currently offlineGulfstream650 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4312 times:

Quoting mtbga (Reply 13):
By keeping the airline flying they have ensured you have a job to come back to.

Never have truer words been written.



I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5946 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

mtbga: thank you.

I'm in no way connected to BA and certainly not crew. I have taken a staunchly neutral position from the outset: I can genuinely see arguments both ways.

However most members here are quite vociferous in their anti-union rhetoric. That is their opinion and they're entitled to it, but it sometimes feels that reason has been lost.

Your fair and balanced assessment was truly a breath of fresh air!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3149 times:

Quoting mtbga (Reply 13):
Every time I think of this strike I am reminded of how Britain truly ruled the world but slowly faded to a pale shadow of itself both in the world and I am beginning to think Europe itself

Oh for Gods' sake. Britain had nowhere to go but down after the Empire and all that. Otherwise the world would be a very strange subservient place today !!

Quoting mtbga (Reply 13):
Same thing is slowly happening to BA

Same can be applied to BA...25 years ago LH and AF were a mess, EK barely existed, Ryanair and Easyjet didn't exist etc, the main American airlines were either in serious decline or awful. BA just happened to have a team at its helm that did a brilliant job of recognising and bringing to fruition an opportunity. You could argue that back then BA and LHR combined were similar to what EK and DXB are trying to achieve now.

Now things are a different, BA was never going to be able to sustain its operations and ways of doing things as they did at their peak. Hence all the unfortunate but TOTALLY necessary troubles going on at BA now.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinebastew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1030 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2989 times:

There was a development today.

BA have offered a revised proposal to BASSA....which will most likely be turned down.

HOWEVER, BA has also taken a new direction. It is offering the same deal to non-union crew (or crew that leave the union) on an individual basis to accept.

Interesting times.......


User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

Quoting bastew (Reply 17):
It is offering the same deal to non-union crew (or crew that leave the union) on an individual basis to accept.

Seems like a wise ploy. If the majority of CC are, as BA insists, now firmly against UNITE and in favour of settlement, this will confirm it. If the majority of CC accept BA's new offer, then it really will completely isolate the union and pull their negotiating position out from underneath them. Twists and turns galore!


User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2951 times:

So yesterday, BA announces plans to recruit 1,250 new cabin crew on Mixed Fleet, without any agreement with BASSA and Unite as to its implementation.

Today BA makes an offer directly to cabin crew, side-stepping Unite.

BASSA and Unite have been outmaneouvred at almost every turn.


User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (4 years 6 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

Was not the reason Unite wanted to ballot for new strike action BA's "bullying"??

As in the disiplinary action against BASSA union reps not working because they were on so-callled "union business"? Also the refusal by BA to fully restore travel perks to strikers.

It seems the original reason for strike action has been lost and this is all pure confrontation!

I hope the company prevails!


User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (4 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Before anyone goes wild, consider this as a balanced and non aggressive view, nor is this aimed at anyone personally !

BASSA and, I'm afraid, some of their members really do live in the past. I think there is a 'Glory Days' mentality where cabin crew was an elite job, flying the world in the BAOC VC-10. Now unfortunately it is sometimes more like a flying waiter (FR for example). But the mentality of some is stuck in 1970, not 2010.

Phrases such as 'scabbing' have been used, a war of attrition (it would appear) is being used much like the Miners against Thatcher. All I will say is, look at history....they lost their jobs and many of them have become long tem unemployed because they had a belief that they were worth more than they really were...they were inflexible to a changing world...and the cabin crew are looking that way.

The flying crew have always been the last to take up the slack, whether it be pay cuts, or changes in working practises. We live in a world where multi million pound losses are spoken of almost casually (531 Million loss for example at BA).
Yet we have CSD's on over £50,000 a year (I suspect some are on nearer £60,000). But let us analyse this - Cabin Service Director.....Director, not manager, 'Director'. It's a small thing but in my mind shows a slight mentality among some, a feeling of inflated self worth. The Director or Engineering for example manages over 4000 employees, while a CSD 'manages' at most 15 or 16 cabin crew.
If this seems harsh, simply see terms and conditions of more senior crew compared to their industry rivals. Rather cynically I would also suggest when even Pilots are now doing something, perhaps you should be !

The sad thing is, the BASSA party faithful are now becoming the voting majority as previously stated, more moderate members are leaving so a vote for striking is now almost guaranteed to receive a 'yes' vote.
The irony is those who vote yes (mostly CSD's and more senior cabin crew) have the most to loose. Turkeys voting their way to Christmas it seems.

I read on the BBC news website today that BA have offered a new deal which includes changes to pay structures that the airline says address cabin crew concerns. These include new "top-up" payments and two years of guaranteed rises in basic salary from 2011.
This cynically reminds me of how the NHS was created (Doctors being opposed to it), they 'stuffed their mouths with gold'.

The problem is of course the Union, I believe, knows it's a loosing battle, but is trying to save face. They lack support from the public, BA workers, even their own union members and now an increasing number of Cabin crew. There seems to be a confusion as to what it is they really are fighting for....travel perks for striking staff ? but that was not the original issue as far as my understanding goes.

I do not wish to offend anyone here, we all know most cabin crew work hard, do not earn such high salaries and do not feel an inflated ego is needed, but the reality is BA CANNOT carry on paying cabin crew such high salaries. I am heavily cynical of the BASSA, they of course do not like to mention that they did little to stand up for their LGW based crew when their contracts changed, they did little to oppose the newer 'post 1998' contracts at LHR and they I doubt will oppose the new Mixed Fleet contract that much. Oh and they managed to alienate their own union members (UNITE that is) by complaining of ill maintained aircrafts....funnily enough Engineers are under UNITE and were sent letters asking for union members to support their striking 'colleagues'.
Reality is, it's an elite group interested in the cushy T&C's of a few at the sacrifice of a majority....an 'us and them' mentality, where aslong as the elite are alright that's just fine.
In conclusion BASSA can keep this up, but at the expense of themselves. In 10 years I think the Mixed Fleet crew will make up 40% of the cabin crew ? Perhaps this issue will die away, but i doubt it, unfortunately people who have grievances do not simply turn quiet and fall back in line overnight.

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineanstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5319 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (4 years 6 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2589 times:

It seems the latest strike ballot has been withdrawn after BA sent them a letter advising the 3 items they are balloting on are items that have been involved in the previous dispute and that by balloting they are risking their members jobs.

I believe UNITE will now ballot members on acceptance of the latest contract (and not strike action).


User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2821 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2459 times:

Quoting anstar (Reply 22):
I believe UNITE will now ballot members on acceptance of the latest contract (and not strike action).

So would that be a contact giving free coupons for a meal and Bennigans and bubble gum for every Canadian?


User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

If BASSA poll their members by way of another non-anonymous online poll rather than by way of an anonymous postal ballot, there is no chance if this offer being accepted.

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 25, posted (4 years 6 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2351 times:

By keep up, do we mean the campaign of McCluskey to take over UNITE once Woodley and Derek 'Follow Me On Twitter' Simpson step down later this year?

Or that sideline of his with the BA dispute?

Here is the thing, BA have more staff volunteers for crew training than they can train!
From other parts of the company which managed to negotiate changes in response to the very difficult conditions the industry is in now, done of course, with full union cooperation.
So not a good fit for McCluskey's jibe of 'Scabs'.
A bit rich too coming from a boil on the backside of UNITE.


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