It is important to separate individual Cabin Crew from their often incompetent union representatives.
BA’s management has done well to keep the airline as profitable as it has (and it did make a profit in Q4) in the very challenging circumstances of the past 18 months.
The UK and US have been hit harder than most in the downturn, and BA’s business model is geared to maximise profit and provide capacity for high margin business travellers on North American routes in particular; BA suffers more than most in a downturn, and profits more than most in an upturn.
There has been a fundamental shift from US/European centre of gravity to Asian markets; the successes elsewhere are demand driven, and most carriers have a similar “formula” to that exhibited by BA. The UK/US and European business market COLLAPSED and, in longhaul at least, is slowly returning to a recovery state, as borne out by recent BA traffic numbers.
Despite this, BA Management have continued their strategic investment (AVOD in all classes, Next Gen Club World, new First on the way, new routes and innovative new services such as Open Skies and CWLCY, new Galleries lounges network wide, as well as a fully funded fleet replacement programme).
BA Management have continually been available to the main Unions for talks, while the Unions refused to meet BA as they themselves would not sit in the same room as each other (let alone BA Management) for talks due to their own internal union infighting.
A quick recap of BAs final proposal before the June 09 deadline: New crewing levels (since imposed), New disruption agreement (since imposed), Reduced downroute rest, an improved profit share scheme (now off the table), but most importantly no new fleet.
You won’t find many cabin crew who wouldn’t enthusiastically return to that deal now with the reduced rest replaced by some other small tweak.
So the last nine months have resulted in the loss of that original deal and now with the massive uncertainty for employees of the now real “new fleet”, allowing a lower paid workforce to be introduced to run BA cabin services at a more sensible cost.
Along the way BA Cabin Crew Unions have lost the respect of the public, and in many cases the respect and allegiance of their own members.
The Union leadership have lied time and time again, and never admitted mistakes despite two High court judgements against them that show them in the most appalling light.
BASSA/Unite have cost BA tens of millions, cost their own members millions in court costs and wasted ballots.
They have lost the element of surprise, enabled a volunteer workforce to be trained that will now always be there for future ballots, and caused new fleet to start.
That is what BASSA have achieved.
Let’s see what ignominious climbdown they have planned for their members next week…