Reply To: BA and union agree to end dispute

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Would you not agree that it is rather hard to estimate a figure for the ‘threat of strikes’? Particularly after the 22 days were not exactly successful ? I don’t doubt that there were some people who were dissuaded from flying BA because of the possibility of strike action, but then they may also have been put off flying by ash clouds, possibility of terrorism, hole in the ozone layer etc. The proof would be in the revenue figures woudn’t it. Don’t recall BA doing that badly in the second half of last year.

I’m not aware that any change to the redeployment agreement had been proposed in previous offers by BA. If BA had been suggesting a change to it, why didn’t the union ballot on that as grounds for strike action ? The basic pay deal offered is the same as was put forward last year and accepted by the non-union cabin crew. The only carrot this time around is a bit more cash, but this will be dependant on improved productivity targets bekng met.

BASSA’s strong membership is a novel way of describing the 47%+ who either didn’t vote or voted against industrial action. It is also ironic that the people who are killing off BASSA and CC89 are the Unite leadership. How do you square that with the accusation that BA was attempting to ‘bust’ the union ?

The mistake that BASSA made throughout this dispute was assuming that it was personal. Given that WW had agreed changes with Unite for other workgroups, it is patently obvious that he didn’t have an axe to grind with the parent union. However, the whole steer by BA management on this dispute has been on the business and commercial aspects. It was BASSA that went for making WW a bogeyman. The comforting thought is that BASSA would have demonised whoever was leading BA at the time, because they refused to look at the harsh business realities. BASSA were either unable or unwilling to appreciate that the company was in severe financial straits and needed to do something fast.

I think that this dispute will mark a sea change in the way that workers relate to unions. The old 70’s style confrontational approach by the unions has been shown to be outmoded. Unions now need to be more co-operative and work with employers to improve working practices.

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