Reply To: BA strike: the media battle

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Despite my other postings, I am a supporter of some sort of worker’s representation, especially in lower paid, cyclical industries.

I also support their right to strike when appropriate, though it should hardly ever come to that.

However, Unite is not a business minded organisation; it is hardline and militant, highly aligned to the (oldskool) Labour Party and exists to further the political ideals of its leadership (class war) at the expense of its working members, who will lose most from this industrial action. The premise of this strike – that BA is changing the T&Cs of the employment contract HAS BEEN PROVEN WRONG IN THE HIGH COURT.

BA can go no further to make its case, and has exhausted legal remedies. The airline cannot back down, otherwise it would be in hock to the Union for evermore, as it has been already for far too long.

If that means Unite forces BA out of business in its current form, that’s actually not a bad medium term solution; get rid of the pension liability (though a resolution to that issue was agreed with the Union just last week..), get rid of the antiquated State-owned legacy carrier working practices and militant union/employees, and re-employ those forward thinking crew for whom service is important on half the current salary with minimal job protection, but with incentives aligned to the profitability of the firm which would replicate an income which was super-equivalent to that which the market is paying at other carriers for the same services .

Swiss and other carriers have re-invented themselves successfully after bankruptcy, JAL is in the same boat, there is no reason BA could not.

However, I very much doubt it will come to that as BA has a very profitable business model once the economy revives and a stack of cash to see it through these next few weeks.

Unite will come under pressure from its Labour Party paymasters to resolve this strike to stop a Spring of Discontent prior to the election.

The City sees this and shares remain strong, hardly dented by the strike, and this is an indication of the need for BA Management to stand firm and to ensure the Union is dealt with properly.

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