Reply To: 83.2% Vote for Industrial Action

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“BA initiated this dispute by imposing change without proper negotiation.. Stating this is going to happen regardless, you can talk about it but it is going to happen.. is not negotiation it is dictat.”

Oh, please. This is utter nonsense. BA gave Unite ample time to negotiate and produce their own proposals. However, BASSA and CC89 were too busy fighting with each other (history repeating itself…)

Grow up. Stop pointing the finger and blaming others for a mess if your own creation.

i) 24th February – At a National Sectional Panel (“NSP”) meeting Mr Francis told the Union that in the then financial circumstances BA looked to save £82m as against the cost of cabin crew. Throughout Unite had separately identified representatives from both its BASSA and Amicus factions.
ii) 26th February – At a further such meeting Mr Francis handed over a list setting out 32 prospective costs saving measures and invited discussion. Of these measures nine involved reduction in current cabin crew complements.

iii) February – April BA met 14 times with BASSA and four times with Amicus in a mixture of formal and informal meetings.

iv) May – Following release of the figures for the first quarter (see para 12 above) the required costs saving was increased to £140m.

v) 1st June – BA issue a statutory HR1 form proposing up to 2000 redundancies amongst cabin crew. BA and the Union meet at a formal NSP.

vi) 9th – 30th June – Intermittent talks at Heathrow Renaissance Hotel. In the course of such;

a) 15th June BASSA had a heated argument with Amicus and refused to cooperate together
b) 23rd June BA put forward a proposal in writing. This included specific reductions in crew complements
c) 25th June – Unite put forward a written Pay and Productivity Proposal, claiming that it would save BA £173m. It proposed some alterations in the cabin crew complements but no significant reduction. Thereafter BA tried to understand and analyse the cost saving as anticipated by Unite, bringing in accountants, Price Waterhouse Cooper. The latter’s assessment was that the saving would be about £53m. Unite refused to have further discussions over this issue, whether with BA or the accountants.
In the overall result, the meetings broke up without reaching any joint conclusion.
vii) 29th June – Mr Francis sent a letter to each cabin crew member, setting out BA’s proposals, such including a reduction in cabin crew complements.

viii) 21st-23rd July – An abortive session at ACAS.

ix) 21st, 30th September and 1st and 2nd October – Following an agreement reached between BA’s CEO and the Joint General Secretaries of Unite, there was a further sustained resort to ACAS for conciliation. I heard evidence as to the course of events at ACAS and the following emerged. The BASSA and Amicus factions were separately represented and sat in separate rooms. Despite the efforts of ACAS they could not be persuaded to join forces for a meeting with BA. The latter raised the possibility of separate agreements with the respective factions but, understandably, that did not appeal. In the overall result there was no meeting between the Union and BA.

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