I find it a little strange that some subscribers to this forum seem to think that the changes needed are new, and that it has all been rushed. BA, and WW, have been trying to make changes to save the airline from continuously teetering near the brink. True, the financial condition is no the same as some American airlines have experienced, but equally true is the fact that a Chapter 11 type reconstruction, and re-writing of all contracts, does not exist in the UK.
To my knowledge there has never been a major quoted plc that has entered administration and emerged as a pre-pack, as the facility does not exist. If it did then it would have happened some time back.
The unions know that there must be change, or eventually receivership will take place. Both parties have been “in negotiation” for well over a year, and Unite / BASSA are using the term negotiation as a delaying tactic. They have gained their members a full year respite already. Negotiation has failed so it is time for management to manage and move on. As happens to the rest of us, if we don’t like the changes then we must all “move on”. Yes, it is tough for the 45 year old mentioned by geohoveuk, but so what? It is also tough for the guys on Tyneside now that the Redcar furnace is closed. Striking did not stop that happening, and nor should it.
This dispute is about unions delaying the implementation of urgently needed changes to bring BA working practices into the 21st century, not stuck in a 70s timewarp. Timing of a general election should be of no interest to company or employees, but is being used as such by a union struggling for it’s own long term existence.