Reply To: BA cabin crew set to back new strikes

Back to Forum



you really ought to keep up with the news. WW is no longer CEO of BA. The current CEO is Keith Williams. I also note from the article in question

‘Eight of the top ten Consumer Superbrands remain the same as last year and includes British Airways, which despite a very challenging year still retains its place in the hearts of the British public.’

I agree that this dispute ought to be resolved, however, I cannot see that Unite are making any moves in that direction. If the union were serious in attempting to settle, it would not be balloting once again.

I also note that this dispute began over one issue – the imposition of a reduction in cabin crew levels for flights to and from LHR. By the second ballot a further two issues had been added. The ballot immediately prior to the current one had five issue of contention and this current ballot has a spanking ten items.

The problem with all this is that the more things that Unite ballot for, the less likely that they will reach an agreement with management. Thus it becomes apparent that the union have no desire to settle as every time a final agreement is in sight, the union plucks another raft of issues out of the hat. Negotiation requires give and take. Unite are not prepared to cede an inch. Hence my assertion that Unite are not serious about wishing to settle this dispute.

A more worrying development is the decline in Unite membership over the past twelve months. From a high of around 12,000, it has seen the numbers drop to now just under 10,000. If members follow the recommendation of the BASSA branch secretary, that could plummet to under 6,000 shortly. This could be catastrophic for Unite as it would then be below the 50% bar and ripe for derecognition.

Unite need to be extremely careful in the game they are playing (and it is a game). Comments from the Gen Sec like (of BA’s CEO) ‘ He has no way of knowing what weird and wondrous initiatives we might take should we engage in industrial action.’ are very revealing. Unite are into wierd initiatives ? What sort of confidence does that instil in the membership ? Unite cannot state what they might do, but allude to it being somewhat wacky. Half baked ideas could unravel the union.

Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription

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