British Airways Reaches Long Awaited Agreement With Cabin Crew
By Daniel Baxter
May 16, 2011 - Unite the union and British Airways have
reached an agreement to resolve the long-running cabin
crew dispute at the airline, the union announced. The
agreement is to be put to a ballot of Unite cabin crew
members over the next month, with a union recommendation
In the meantime, the union has decided not to call any
industrial action at the airline based on its present
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who led
negotiations for the union, said today: ?We always said
that this dispute could only be settled by negotiation,
not by confrontation or litigation.
And so it has proved.
?We are delighted to have reached an agreement which I believe recognizes the rights and dignity of cabin crew as well as the commercial requirements of the company. This agreement will allow us to go forward in partnership together to strengthen this great British company - good news for BA, its employees and its customers alike.
?I am particularly pleased that staff travel concessions will be
restored in full with the signing of the agreement and the
implementation of the new structure for working together that we
have negotiated. A
customer-oriented business can only succeed with all its
employees valued and respected.
?And above all I would like to pay tribute to Unite?s BA cabin
crew members. Their
resilience, discipline and determination to be treated properly
has been an inspiration to all who have worked alongside them in
this dispute and has been a model of twenty-first century trade
unionism. They deserve this agreement and the prosperous future
at British Airways I hope it secures.?
It appears that the British Airways cabin crew is on the right
track of mutual understanding and respect with the new British
Airways CEO, Keith Williams after a turbulent relationship with
the former CEO Willie Walsh who was responsible for generating
great deal of turmoil for the struggling air carrier.
BA 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.
In January 2011 British Airways merged with Iberia (BA-Iberia), Walsh
was appointed as CEO of International Airlines Group the parent company
to BA-Iberia and Williams became CEO of British Airways. The key issues
that the union members were looking to get behind them were:
1. The immediate restoration of staff travel concessions, in full, to
the crew from whom they were taken.
2. Binding 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 strike dates.
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
6. The introduction of mixed fleet on different terms and conditions
without agreement with the union.
7. The discrimination applied to union members in the allocation of part
time contracts and transfers in breach of the Ops and Choice framework.
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