Reply To: BA Cabin Crew Strike – Consolidated Thread

Back to Forum


Yes, but the trouble is, re:” Unite now deserves exactly what it will get i.e. no deal and dictated terms = bad for its members.” It won’t get that.

What instead will happen is a series of strikes as on one side staff refuse to give up benefits they were awarded in better times, and on the other, Walsh sees this as the one and only time he can push through realistic working practices and try and get into at least the same league as other carriers against which he is competing (though there’s no chance of getting his costs down to compete with the likes of Easyjet and Flybe).

When the economy recovers, Walsh can’t have this fight because Unite will point to recovering financial results and no doubt “fat cat” bonuses, but right now, no one can blame him for trying to cut costs.

But if you were the staff, whether on 25k or 50k, why agree measures which are viewed as the thin(ish) end of a very thick wedge which will see you brought down to the level of those who work for other airlines on other terms? You’d be better off striking (or so the thinking goes).

The fact is that every time BA was threatened with strike action in the last 25 years it caved in and showered money and improved working terms on the staff.

It could get away with it when there was less competition (ie: up to about 15 years ago), and when it had a huge and unrivalled route network out of Heathrow. But the world has changed. It’s wrong to talk of BA facing competition on short haul because there is no competition – it lost the battle a long time ago.

As for long haul, the competition has never been fiercer, both from ME carriers and those carriers with quick feet that formed alliances. And though it’s slightly off thread, the idea that Iberia is a good match for BA is madness. They have worse problems than BA. Iberia works only as a poison pill to stop someone else taking over BA. Together, BA and Iberia would kill any other airline trying to swallow them.

Now it is immune to takeover, Walsh can have his fight to the death with the crew, but it will be that, because you can’t lose money for ever….

Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription

To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below