Reply To: BA Cabin Crew Strike – Consolidated Thread

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1. It is perfectly reasonable for benefits to vary between staff performing the very same function. It is only the Union which “says” this not legal, as it is in their interest to keep everyone on the same contracts, which shores up their position. Legally, they don’t have a leg to stand on, and once again the Union has it wrong.

2. I am not really talking about the staff travel for hols etc. – as you well know many crew commute from places like Scotland, Manchester, Newcastle and even Southern Europe (permanent non-UK residents etc.) to perform their duties. I know this happens because I see and chat to these people regularly on my travels. Losing these benefits would often make such a lifestyle uneconomical.

3. It doesn’t really matter what most BA staff think, as even a small number would be able to operate a substantial service, thus rendering a strike impotent. Lufthansa crews’ opinions have no relevance whatsoever to this argument; they are currently being undercut themselves by bmi crews who are being kept in a job by Lufty’s management’s decision to use them on Lufty services.

4. A pilot can perform cabin crew duties with minimal training, the same is not the case for relatively (and I am sorry to say this, but I have to be blunt here) moderately skilled cabin crew. The major barrier to entry is security clearance and the union closed shop, NOT scarcity of the ability to do the job/training. CC have no leverage when it comes to barriers to entry.

5. Rather than looking to keep costs high and imperil the survival of the airline, perhaps union management would better serve the membership which pays their 100k-plus pay packets by working to create profitable conditions at BA, and setting out to encourage management to improve their already positive policy of rewarding staff on the basis of the airline’s performance, with basic salaries guarantteed, rather than struggling to maintain outdated contracts and terms & conditions for those joining the airline as new employees today. BA management is NOT proposing to alter existing contracts of employment as far as I am aware; there would be new working T&Cs, which already exist (union approved!) successfully for Gatwick crew, and new contracts for new joiners, but NO CHANGE for existing employment contracts.

6. Management get paid more because they have specialist skills, and have experience in this area. The cost of 1,000 managers pales into insignificance to the 13,000 (or whatever the current number) of cabin crew. Many managers have alreay been made redundant, WW himself took a pay cut last year (I know it’s not the same if you earn that pay scale as taking a cut as cabin crew, but the gesteure was made, and that should not be forgotten or used against him).

7. BA is an internationally traded company. Its headquarters will soon be in Madrid and once it merges with AA (which will surely happen, sure as eggs is eggs) the country of ownership/influence will hardly be the UK at all.
So the point on ownership is that by carrying on like this, you will shorten the already tenuous UK ownership of BA, and risk a far worse situation, that of closing the airline and setting up NewCo with Cabin Crew on Easyjet style contracts, possibly owned by Etihad or some such who are not known for their generosity with cabin crew.
Would I as a passenger notice? I have to say, probably not that much. Virgin manages to recruit friendly, “BA style” people just fine.

So, I am so sad to read all the union generated guff that is being parroted on here and by other cabin crew I speak with. It really saddens me that you cannot grasp the wider implications of the situation.

In my view, bring on a strike, let the airline proceed to bankruptcy, and have done with the old contracts and pension liabilities all together.

I fly BA (a lot!) because I think BA cabin crew are indeed special. But plebty of people choose their airline based purely on cost. Some will base it on service, and while I am fortunate to nearly always experience excellent on board service, there are many others here (anecdotally) who do not; BA crew are an important part of the BA culture, but theyr should not feel they are any more special than an Easyjet crewmember, they are not *that* special, and nor do they have a god/Union given right to employment at a hiostrically higher rate of pay and allowances than any other airline operating in the UK marketplace.

Thankfully they have a hefty cash cushion right now to help them ride out the storm, but this union actions is doing untold harm to BA and to the Union members themselves, and no-one is winning from this Union inspired ego trip. No-one.

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