Strike Vote To Send Clear Message To New CEO
By Bill Goldston
March 29, 2011 - Willie Walsh took over the reins of
British Airways as CEO in October 2005, his main focus
as CEO was to change the airline's labor agreements and
at any cost. Needless to say this caused a great deal of
turmoil for the air carrier.
cabin crew went out on strike several times during 2010
as a result Walsh?s negative tone toward labor relations
and outsourcing of labor which resulted in numerous
flight cancellations, delays, an erosion of customer
satisfaction and had put the merger of British Airways
and Iberia Airlines in jeopardy.
January 2011 British Airways merged with
Despite record losses for BA and pay cuts for the employees Walsh received a raise in pay plus receiving several bonuses. Upon Walsh?s appointment to International Airlines Group Keith Williams was appointed CEO of BA-Iberia. Williams, is viewed as more conciliatory toward his employees. Williams has stated he wants the angry words of the past put behind them so that they can find a language to reflect a common purpose and indicates that he is prepared to meet with the union to seek a successful conclusion to their dispute.
British Airways cabin crew in an effort to send out a clear
message overwhelming voted to back a strike action. British
Airways cabin crew, who are members of Unite the union, have
voted to back strike action at the airline. Of the just under
10,000 crew polled, some 83 percent of the 6981 who returned
valid voting papers voted yes to strike action.
this vote, the fourth official ballot in two years, reflects the
continued resilience among the crew who were being balloted on a
range of anti-union management measures including sanctions
applied to some 6700 crew who took lawful strike action last
McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said "This vote shows that
cabin crew remains determined to win justice. We urge BA's
boardroom to see this as a clear message that they must think
again about how to regain the trust and confidence of a
significant part of their cabin crew operation. We continue to
be in discussions with the company to find a solution to this
long-running dispute." In dispute:
1. The immediate
restoration of staff travel concessions, in full, to the crew from whom
they were taken.
arbitration, through ACAS, of all cabin crew disciplinary cases related
to the original dispute.
3. The restoration
of all earnings docked from crew who were genuinely off sick during
4. Full and proper
discussion of the trade union facilities agreement at the company with
the immediate removal of all threats and sanctions made by the company
in relation to this.
5. The immediate
cessation of actions taken against elected representatives of cabin
crew, including; victimization; intimidation and exclusion.
introduction of mixed fleet on different terms and conditions without
agreement with the union.
discrimination applied to union members in the allocation of part time
contracts and transfers in breach of the Ops and Choice framework.
8. The company's continued and specific disregard for necessary union agreement in advance of any application of the disruption agreement.
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