Eye Of the Beholder Day Three Of BA Cabin Crew Strike
March 23, 2010 –
British Airways flight attendants returned back to work today from the
picket lines so as not to interrupt Easter travelers. They will resume
their position at the picket line on the 27th.
On day one of the
strike British Airways began to suspend flight attendants for failing to
show up to work. On day two Unite, the union that represents the flight
attendants, reported the air carrier was bullying and harassing its
union members. On day three of the strike Unite reported the strike
action had been successful while British Airways reported their
contingency plan was a success.
On the third day of the BA stoppage Unite issued an update of how the strike is “biting, the evidence shows that BA's much-vaunted contingencies plans are failing.
Of the 77 scheduled flights, 37 flights were empty, which included
flights to JFK, Tel Aviv,
British Airways stated their profit outlook is unchanged and their
contingency plans over the three days of flight attendant strike have
been very successful. "
“We started the weekend with 82,573 bookings for the two days after our reservation teams had worked with our customers to reduce bookings (including accommodating some passengers for travel in the days leading up to the weekend) to reflect the smaller flying program. In fact, over the two days we carried 86,262 passengers, due to late additional bookings."
operational performance made possible by dedicated BA staff has
significantly reduced the financial impact of the disruption. Current
best estimate is that the 3-day industrial action will cost £7 million a
day. Assessment of the cost of potential future industrial action can
only be made after the event. As a result full year earnings
expectations to March 31, 2010 remains broadly unchanged."
Unite has urged BA
Chief Executive Willie Walsh to come out of hiding and agree to talks to
settle the cabin crew dispute which has grounded most of the airline’s
operation over the last three days.
“BA needs to wake up and understand that a dispute like this can only be resolved through negotiations and agreement. Cabin crew have sent the company the most powerful message over the last three days that they will not be cowed or bullied into accepting industrial dictate. I am proud of their solidarity and resilience, and the support they have given to this dispute, which none of them wanted. I would like to hear BA’s board justify spending millions on a floundering strike-breaking operation when they turned down an offer of more than £55 million in cost savings from their own cabin crew."
“We estimate that BA may have spent as much as £18 million on leasing airplanes over the last three days. And it is beyond dispute that most of its long-haul flights have been cancelled, and most of those which have taken off are half-empty or completely passenger-free. This is the economics of the madhouse, which can only lead to suspicions that there is another, union-busting, agenda at work here. Trying to break Unite will break BA’s bank account. That is why it is time to talk. Pick up the phone, Willie."
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