MaverickM11
Topic Author
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What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:12 am

What is BA doing about its employees that illegally walked out in sympathy with Gate Gourmet's problems?

[Edited 2005-08-17 21:19:16]
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
timboflier215
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 7:54 am

RE: BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:19 am

nothing that ive heard atm. i guess they really want to avoid any more delays and stoppages. but that doesn't mean they wont take action in the future. dont forget, not even the union was behind the BA employees that walked out. not to mention the fact that it really hurt the company's image, especially among the 100,000 pax affected!
 
Leskova
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:24 am

While I know that it's a highly subjective view that was presented on the tv news, the thing that surprised me most is that almost all people that were interviewed answered along the lines of "Sure, it's inconvenient, but I fully understand why they're striking, and I'm not angry at them but at the company that's caused the problem"...

Would be interesting to get a more general view on how the strikes were seen throughout the flying public.

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
commavia
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:30 am

Quoting Leskova (Reply 2):
While I know that it's a highly subjective view that was presented on the tv news, the thing that surprised me most is that almost all people that were interviewed answered along the lines of "Sure, it's inconvenient, but I fully understand why they're striking, and I'm not angry at them but at the company that's caused the problem"...

I feel confident in saying that, generally, that would never be the view in the United States if an airline's ramp workers just up and left in the middle of a shift and left thousands of passengers stranded because some catering workers -- who worked for another company -- got fired.

In the U.S., I could probably sum up the general opinion of the flying public effected, IMO, in:

"What the h*ll is the matter with these a**holes? They ruined my vacation -- I'm never flying [ABC] Airlines again, and I'm telling all my friends to fly [XYZ] Airlines for their next trip."

Americans would not have patience for this whole union brotherhood, labor solidarity stuff, as American consumers generally aren't sympathetic to unions anymore anyway.
 
timboflier215
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:37 am

sadly, there were quite a few ppl i saw interviewed who vowed never to fly BA again. they might have been rubbish at giving info to their customers, but the dispute was not their fault, it all happened q quickly and reaching ppl to tell them not a whole lot was going to happen wasnt all that easy! IMHO, i doubt any other major airline would have handled it significantly better.
 
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Vasu
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:44 am

Its sad that all these staff had such a stupid attitude in walking out over something that happens in another company!

That's like staff at ASDA, Sainsbury's etc. walking out because HP sacked some of its sauce-makers!

Sack the lot of them!  Smile
 
MaverickM11
Topic Author
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:47 am

Quoting Vasu (Reply 5):
Sack the lot of them!

That's what I'd do, or dock their pay for an amount equal to the damage they caused.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
helsin99
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:07 am

The more I read about it, the more I'm convinced that BA, through an irresponsible attempt at cost cutting, shares part of the blame for the strike last week at LHR.

BA cut corners by outsourcing their catering to Gate Gourmet, a company that appears shadier with every passing day. At the time I'm sure it sounded like a good idea: save a bundle of money by eliminating a large number of low skill, good paying jobs that are not part of your core business (the catering jobs) and let someone else deal with the problems (strikes, etc) caused by cutting the catering worker's wages to improve the corporate bottom line. A win/win situation they must have thought. But this strategy backfired for two reasons:

First, BA outsourced their catering to a rather questionable company, Gate Gourmet. GG was is in financial trouble to start with. They were doing everything they could, ethics be damned, to cut costs so that they could do the impossible--deliver quality meals to their customers at a lower price than if the airline prepared them in house and still generate a profit.

BA knew how difficult this was to do, hence their desire to outsource and let it become 'someone else's problem'. Basically BA was willing to stake their sterling reputation to save a little bit of money for every meal served.

Second, no one no one (GG or BA) factored in the possibility of and effects from a sympathy strike by BA staff at LHR. Many of the fired GG staff were former BA workers and many had strong ties to the current BA workers. Many of the current BA workers probably also realize that they could be the next target of outsourcing. So it was only natural for the BA workers to stage their own walkout when they see something like the GG fiasco happen.

It appears GG had been planning for at least a year on instigating an illegal strike by it's workers (see link below) so they could fire the better paid ones. To start something like that during the busy holiday season, knowing how bad it could affect one of your major customers makes me wonder what GG was thinking and makes me wonder why BA chose to deal with them.

Here are some links for more information:

GG planning industrial action:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_obje...adline=flyer-liars--name_page.html

BA lack of foresight in their outsourcing:
http://www.blackenterprise.com/yb/yb...ory_id=78496223&ID=blackenterprise
http://www.food-business-review.com/...B7A756-BDB4-4A1B-9FC2-6D809752F5D4

Many more out there just do a google news search.

Cheers
 
m404
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:51 am

The news section of A.net shows several links to investigating reports of co-ercion or bulliying of BA personnel to join walkout.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
scotron11
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:16 pm

Quoting Helsin99 (Reply 7):

The more I read about it, the more I'm convinced that BA, through an irresponsible attempt at cost cutting, shares part of the blame for the strike last week at LHR.

Why is that? BA sold their inflight catering unit to GG in 1997, over 8 years ago, when it was owned by Swissair. How was that irresponsible? Was it also irresponsible that they outsourced their maintenance base in Cardiff to GE?

GG was purchased by TexasPacificCorp in 2002 from the then bankrupt Swissair. What would you have BA do, try and veto the sale? This is the same organization headed by David Bonderman, a large investor in CO when they were going thru their travails and currently chairman of Ryanair. Some would argue that CO is one of the best run airlines today anywhere. Not to mention Ryanair.

GG's cost base is 50% higher at LHR than anywhere else. It is a private company trying to bring those cost into line and return to profitability. I see nothing wrong with that.

I think this dispute has more to do with the overall changes all airlines are going thru in these days of record oil prices, post 9/11 and LCCs. Plus the outdated work practices from the 70's still in place at LHR today. And you can thank the TGWU for that, who, if anyone, also deserves credit for last weeks fiasco.
 
AlanUK
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:32 pm

Quoting Timboflier215 (Reply 4):
sadly, there were quite a few ppl i saw interviewed who vowed never to fly BA again.

Along the years, and having worked for AA, KE, TK and BA, I have lost count of how many people have said this to me... "I'll never fly YOUR airline again"... The fact is: customers come and go all the time. Generally, people travelling on a budget will choose the cheapest deal, no matter what the airline's reputation is. BA's imagine, Worldwide, is still beating most competititors hands down.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 6):
Quoting Vasu (Reply 5):
Sack the lot of them!

That's what I'd do, or dock their pay for an amount equal to the damage they caused.

Also I agree with that, can you imagine the result? With the size of BA, it's not easy to recruit a brand new set of baggage handlers and bus drivers... With the arrival of Terminal 5, most bus drivers can wave goodbye to their jobs anyway as the crew/pilots will walk straight from the report centre to the aircraft.

Safe flying all.
 
777236ER
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:54 pm

What they should have done is quite simple. For each hour the employees were illegally striking, BA should have docked them a week's pay and given it to the customers involved.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
GDB
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:51 pm

I know this, a vast majority of BA employees want the strikers sacked.
Incoming CEO Willie Walsh has been told this to his face by the many staff who had volunteered to help end the mess this strike caused.
His reply was "I understand, it's not quite that simple, but action will be taken".

I reckon Rod is going to leave it for to Willie to sort out, if Walsh wants the loyalty of everyone except the 1000 or so who did walk out (accepting some of those might well have been bullied into doing so), then he will at least sack those who instigated it, punish by lack of bonus payments (which they've greatly jeopardized by their actions) and staff travel concessions being removed.

However, getting air-side passes, with all the red tape and lengthy criminal records checks, takes a long time, but BA should quietly, start recruiting now.
Most staff want the strikers gone, BA management have been told that in no uncertain terms.

Plus there is the issue of a new catering contractor to sort out, no one company at LHR has GG's capacity no one company can supply BA at LHR.
If it were me, I'd have BA buy the GG facility at LHR back, at a knock-down price that their impending bankruptcy might allow, new staff, (who'll be pleased to work at BA, with all the advantages this brings), to man it.
It would cost, but how much have recent events cost BA, who cannot afford any kind of repetition?

A twin track approach then, secure an in house LHR catering supply, punish those at BA who walked out, and if the Transport & General Workers Union don't like it, well remind them that no one thinks that these strikers walked out without at least some Shop Stewards on the ground instigating it, mavericks maybe, breaking their own Union rules, but that might not stop the T&G being liable.
(Some BA employees have already said they are canceling their T&G membership in protest at this strike, it's not just amongst the strikers that feelings are running high right now).
 
zonky
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RE: What Is BA's Response To Illegal Walkouts?

Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:00 pm

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 11):
For each hour the employees were illegally striking, BA should have docked them a week's pay and given it to the customers involved.

Yes, becuase clearly the best path forward for BA and their shareholders is to find themselves charged/fined/sued for theft.

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